The wildlife of Angola’s Luengue-Luiana National Park is being devastated by bushmeat hunting of herbivores for sale and consumption. The park houses about 220 human settlements due to displacement during decades of civil unrest. These communities are extremely impoverished and residents commonly hunt bushmeat as a means of survival. The traps set up by bushmeat hunters then wipe out the favored prey of carnivores and inadvertently maim and kill carnivores. The park is also vulnerable to syndicate-driven elephant poaching, usually by poachers entering from Namibia or Zambia.
The project team is working at two scales on this project: a 15,000 km2 Important Habitat Zone (IHZ) and a 500 km2 Intensive Protection Zone (IPZ) within the IHZ. In the IHZ, the team is supporting nearby communities by employing and training residents as Community Game Guards to patrol, remove snares, and monitor wildlife. Team members are concurrently supporting the creation of a community-owned and operated wildlife tourism venture and upgrading facilities at the park so that wildlife and residents can thrive together. Finally, the project team is training and equipping conventional law enforcement to rigorously patrol the IPZ and stop elephant poaching.
By the end of project, populations of Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, African Wild Dog, Giraffe, Zebra, and other ungulates in the IHZ will be increased. Poaching of elephants in the IPZ will be reduced by 50%. A total of 72 community members will be employed through the project (as Community Game Guards, park maintenance staff, etc.), or be actively engaged as business partners. And by the end of project, the project team will prepare a report on the steps for establishing a similar model in an adjacent community.
This project is a part of the IUCN SOS African Wildlife initiative, which is funded by the European Commission’s Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development (DG Devco) through its B4Life initiative.