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Zambia programme

- South Luangwa - Red Caps

Geographical location

Lupanda Game Management Area to the east of South Luangwa national park.

Target groups

Groups of farmers, secondary school teachers, villagers.

Species involved

Elephants (Loxodonta africana), predators…

Local partner

South Luangwa Conservation Society

Objectives

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Reduce the destruction of property by elephants.

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Develop conflict-reduction measures.

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Reduce reprisals against animals.

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Increase farmers’ and villagers’ tolerance of wild animals.

Programme timeline

July 2009

Programme creation

Signing of partnership contract with SLCS.

September 2011

Research on alternative crops

Four different plants were tested to evaluate the extent to which they attract elephants.

July 2014

Continued investigation into human-wildlife conflicts

Since the beginning of the programme, 1 500 investigations have been carried out.

Context

In 2014, some 40 elephants were victims of poaching in this region, and ivory trading reached our zone of operation in the Lupanda valley. The increase in poaching incidences can be explained in part by a strong demand for animal-based products, failure to apply wildlife-protection laws, and the rising demographic in the National Park, as well as the presence of organised criminal structures. In this zone, where crops are often damaged by elephants, these pachyderms need the support of local populations now more than ever before.

A range of measures to mitigate conflicts

Since 2008, we have been working to achieve a more harmonious coexistence between humans and animals in this zone. In particular, we are developing alternative crops, using plants that don’t attract elephants and also provide an alternative source of income for local populations. At the same time, we offer villagers solutions to protect them from wild animals and help them form groups to support this process. The use of “chilli-launchers” has proven particularly efficient for repelling elephants without harming them and also limits reprisals. Finally, educational campaigns encourage villagers to increase their tolerance towards wildlife.

Our latest actions in the field

  • Creation of the first pilot conflict-free zone in collaboration with about one hundred local farmers, and construction of 14 watchtowers to limit crop-raiding by animals;

  • Protection of crops through use of “chilli-launchers”, tools that launch liquid chilli onto elephants’ backs, to chase them away without injuring them;

  • Construction of 72 reinforced grain stores, for the protection of harvests;

  • Development of alternative crops that are not attractive to elephants;

  • Creation of our “Elephant-friendly” label and sale of products (turmeric, chilli, lemongrass) in the region’s safari lodges;

  • Fabrication of chilli-bricks, which when burned give out smoke that deters elephants, and training in use of this technique;

  • Updating and distribution of our educational booklets about human-wildlife conflict reduction and on reinforced grain stores;

  • Collection of details about accidents linked to wild animals and entry of information into our database.

More actions

Together let's colaborate to improve the coexistence between the humans and the animals.
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