Photo Credit: Conservation Lower Zambezi/Francois D'elbee

Expanding the Detection and Tracking Dog Unit in Lower Zambezi



The Lower Zambezi National Park (LZNP) in Zambia is an area of international conservation significance and supports populations of iconic species including the African Elephant, Lion, African Wild Dog, Leopard and previously the Black Rhino. 

However, the LZNP shows signs of biodiversity loss with several species having dramatically declined or become locally extinct in recent years. In response to an increase in elephant poaching, the team added a Detection and Tracking Dog Unit to their existing Wildlife Protection Programme in 2016. The Dog Unit proved very successful, with high profile arrests made and the confiscation of a number of illegal products. Unfortunately, in June 2019, the unit lost one of its key tracking dogs.


The Dog Unit is key to combatting poaching and the movement of illegal wildlife products and thereby protecting the wildlife of the LZNP. With only one tracking dog left, the unit urgently needs to acquire two new dogs to bring them back to full strength.

This project will procure two new dogs and train them to become detection and tracking experts.


With the Dog Unit back to full strength, the project team can continue to run their operations to combat wildlife crime in the area and thereby protect the wildlife of the LZNP.

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.

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