Tackling Bushmeat Poaching in Hwange National Park

Peter Lindsey

The Lion Recovery Fund has provided a grant to Conservation Wildlife Fund (CWF) to support their efforts to undertake anti-poaching patrols in the buffer areas adjacent to the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, in collaboration with the Forestry Commission and with the Zimbabwe Parks Authority. Hwange National Park is the country's largest park and home to over 100 species of mammals and nearly 400 bird species.

The idea behind this grant is to help CWF and local authorities, who manage and protect the park, to tackle bushmeat poaching.  Bushmeat poaching is illegal and kills indiscriminately, through snaring. Snares trap lions as well as other wildlife (such as their desired prey) in cruel chokeholds leading to devastating injuries, which often results in their deaths. 

By tackling bushmeat poaching and supporting lion conservation, the impact of this grant will not only be felt for lions but for a wide range of other species. For instance, in May, the CWF anti-poaching unit, in conjunction with Zimbabwe authorities and the police, arrested a gang of poachers who have been involved in killing elephants using cyanide poison. The elephants of Hwange are world famous and among the largest in the world. This arrest was made possible through intelligence derived from informer networks, paid for in part by the LRF. 

Lions are a very good example of an ‘umbrella species’ - whereby investing in their conservation can protect habitats and all of the species that occur therein. 

Learn more about this project.