Development of a unified management plan for the Save Valley Conservancy

Development of a unified management plan for the Save Valley Conservancy

Susan McConnell
Grantee Save Valley Conservancy with Dr. Ian Games
Type Conservation Planning
Location Save Valley Conservancy, Zimbabwe
Grant Amount $53,010
Duration 1 year

Save Valley Conservancy (SVC) contains a sizable lion population of 200-300 individuals. One of the world’s largest privately owned protected areas, SVC is a major conservation success story, containing notable populations of endangered wild dogs and black rhinos, a large elephant population and significant numbers of lions. However, over recent years the area has come under massive pressure due to the Government of Zimbabwe’s land reform programme and associated economic instability in the country. The conservancy is under huge pressure from bushmeat poaching and other threats, and the traditional ranch-based approach to management has not been adequate to control these pressures sufficiently. LRF provided SVC with a grant to develop a plan to implement centralised management, law enforcement and community engagement. This will significantly bolster the prospects of lions being successfully conserved in the area in the long run. The LRF provided SVC with a second grant to develop a participatory plan to combat human-wildlife conflict as a critical first step in working to address this challenging issue. Ultimately resolving human-lion conflict is a key step in ensuring the long-term sustainability of the lions that occur in SVC.