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Calls to fully exploit wildlife based land reform

Insert from ZBC.

Communities in Matabeleland have been called upon to fully exploit the wildlife based land reform programme and empower themselves through the lucrative safari hunting and game viewing projects facilitated by the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks).

Matabeleland is endowed with wildlife resources with Matabeleland North Province being the bastion of the big five and also the prime safari hunting area in the country.

However, communities in the region are grappling with the challenge of human wildlife conflict which can be addressed if resources are availed.

The issue of human wildlife conflict is a result of failure by authorities to share the proceeds of game farming through safari hunting with people who live within these areas, said the director general of Zimparks Mr Fulton Mangwanya.

Addressing people in the Mtshabezi area of Matobo, Mr Mangwanya said beneficiation on wildlife resources by communities is a top government priority.

Mr Mangwanya whose institution donated 50 000 Nile tilapia fingerlings to the Mtshabezi fishing community said they will continue to work with rural communities to ensure that they fully benefit from the exploitation of the available natural resources.

His comments come at a time that the Matabeleland Economic Forum through the Livestock Farmers Union has proposed the establishment of new wildlife conservation areas that will be managed by communities through the chiefs where 15 percent of revenue generated will be used to establish a compensation fund for those whose animals and crops are destroyed by animals.

This proposal which has been well received by chiefs could be the panacea to human wildlife conflict.

13 jumbos die in ‘cyanide poisoning’ October 14, 2017 Local News

Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter


THIRTEEN elephants were found dead in a bush between Fuller Forest and Chikandakubi area outside Victoria Falls town on Wednesday in yet another suspected case of cyanide poisoning.

A villager from Chikandakubi reportedly bumped onto the 13 carcasses near Ngwengwe Springs as he was herding cattle on Wednesday.

The Chronicle was told that four of the elephants had been dehorned while rangers recovered ivory from the other nine.

All carcasses were bulging and almost bursting, raising fears of cyanide poisoning which is suspected to have been administered by poachers at a nearby salt lick, a source said.

“The elephants comprised nine males and four females, nine of which were adults and the other four were sub adults.

The carcasses were discovered by a villager who was rounding up his cattle and he alerted police and rangers,” said a source.

The source said rangers from Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and police officers attended the scene on Thursday.

Zimparks spokesperson Mr Tinashe Farawo could not be reached for comment.

Between January and June 2017, a total of 14 elephants were lost due to poaching activities with two more incidents being recorded in the Hwange National Park two months ago.

However, Zimparks authorities have said collaborative efforts with other Government agencies have led to a downward trend in poaching incidents compared to last year.

Anti-poaching teams have lately been deployed to deal with the emerging poaching cases as the wildlife authority works tirelessly to fight the vice.

During the recently held third Defence and Security Chief Meeting hosted by Zimbabwe, member countries were challenged to domesticate the Sadc law enforcement and anti-poaching strategy.

An elephant costs about $50 000. — @ncubeleon

Congratulations Mr Mashingaidze

 

  

Picture collage shows Mr. Trust Mashingaidze being conferred the Fellow status by Dr. Ushendibaba Madhume the IPMZ President.

The Institute of People Management in Zimbabwe (IPMZ) ran its Annual Conference from the 26th to the 29th of July, 2017 at Elephant Hills Hotel in Victoria Falls. Mr. Trust Mashingaidze the Human Resources Manager for the Zimbabwe Parks & Wildlife Management Authority was awarded the Fellow status which is the highest grade for IPMZ members during the Convention. His 27 years in the Human Resources field has seen him mentoring so many Human Resources practitioners. Furthermore Trust’s training and development experience has seen him being appointed an external moderator at the Southern African Wildlife College. He has also produced Human Resources Manual for the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Areas where he chaired the Human Resources Committee for the five partner countries. Join us the ZimParks Family in congratulating him for the achievement.

Zimparks in Harmony with Nature!!!!!

 

Zimbabwe’s elephant population balloons

(insert from herald Walter Mswazie and Runesu Gwidi)
Zimbabwe’s elephant population has ballooned to 84 000, exceeding the carrying capacity of 50 000 jumbos, which is exerting pressure on the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority. Speaking during the launch of the Command Water Harvesting project in Masvingo recently, Zimparks director-general Mr Filton Mangwanya said the problem has been worsened by the CITES ban on the sale of elephants.

“Since we are unable to sell our elephants due to CITES restriction, the elephants’ population has ballooned to 84 000 and yet we have a carrying capacity of only 50 000,” he said. He said the authority was failing to contain poaching activities, partly due to staff shortages. This has seen one game ranger being responsible for manning 1 000 square kilometres of area when the ideal situation should be one ranger per 20 square kilometres. Mr Mangwanya decried rampant poaching activities in Zimbabwe that saw a good number of the elephants being killed through shooting or poisoning.

A total of 893 jumbos were killed by poachers during the period between 2013 and 2016. Out of this number, 249 elephants were killed through poisoning using cyanide and shooting. We suspect that these poisonous chemicals come from the mining and agriculture sectors or other chemical industries,” said Mr Mangwanya. Mr Mangwanya said Zimparks had potential to contribute to the country’s economic development, but this was being affected by a lack of resources.

“Our own lodges at national parks are not in good shape, while perimeter fences have been destroyed by unscrupulous villagers, resulting in human-animal conflict,” he said. Zimparks, he said, felt that if they were allowed to sell some of the elephants, they could get resources to refurbish infrastructure at national parks and game reserves.

Two elephants killed in suspected cyanide poisoning

Jul 19, 2017 |

Two elephants have been killed in a suspected case of cyanide poisoning around Hwange National Park.

The carcasses of the two jumbos were discovered on Monday by anti-poaching officers.

The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) confirmed the suspected cyanide poisoning case after officers who were on patron around Hwange National Park noticed the carcasses of two adult elephants.

The case has since been reported to the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) which is now conducting further investigations, while a task which was removed from one of the elephants has since been recovered.

Zimparks Public Relations Manager, Mr Tinashe Farawo said the suspected cyanide poison was administered on the saltlick, adding that the recovered task has been sent for safekeeping while 150 anti-poaching unit officers have been deployed to deal with the emerging poaching cases.

Mr Farawo added that the authority in collaboration with other government agencies is working tirelessly to reduce cases of poaching with cumulative figures for 2017 indicating a downward trend compared to last year.

Recent reports from Zimparks show that between January and June 2017, a total of 14 elephants were lost due to poaching activities.

During the recently held third Defence and Security Chief Meeting hosted by Zimbabwe, member countries were challenged to domesticate the SADC law enforcement and anti-poaching strategy.

Two poachers killed at Matusadonha

 

Insert from Zbc 

The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) rangers have shot and killed two poachers after an exchange of gunfire at Matusadonha Mountains.

Two pieces of elephant tasks have been recovered while two of the poachers managed to escape.

Zimparks’ well-trained rangers who were on a regular patrol of Matusadonha Mountains exchanged gunfire with four poachers’ yesterday afternoon.

Two of the poachers were shot and killed during the exchange.

The poachers are still to be identified and the case has since been reported to the Zimbabwe Republic Police.

Zimparks public relations manager, Mr Tinashe Farawo confirmed the incident adding the rangers who had exhausted other avenues to arrest the poachers had to resort to the exchange of gunfire resulting in the unfortunate loss of lives.

The Zimparks public relations manager highlighted the incident should serve as a warning to would be poachers that the authority will do everything in its powers to protect the country wildlife heritage.

The country continues to face worrying trends of poaching with calls for the private sector and communities to partner Zimparks in the fight against poaching scourge.

31 year old sentenced to 3 months for illegal sale of game meat.

Hwange Provincial Magistrate Sharon Rosemani on 27 December sentenced Thabani Shoko 31, of Gamba village, Lukosi in Hwange, to 3 months in prison with labour, for the illegal sale of game meat. Memory Munsaka was prosecuting. He was arrested on the 25th of December at Cross Dete where he was illegally selling dried kudu and impala game meat to truck drivers.

He was arrested for contravening section 59(b) of the Parks and Wildlife Act chapter 2014 of 1996 which is the removal of game meat from one place to another without a permit. Shoko was found in possession of 44 bundles of dried game meat weighing 10 kilogrammes. He confessed to poaching the meat in Sinamatella, Hwange National Park.

Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority advises the public who wish to venture into game meat selling to approach Zimparks offices for assistance on how to acquire the permit. The Authority however warnes members of the public against illegally selling the plant adding that they risk prosecution. The flame lilly is a specially protected indigenous plant and anyone  found and or seen with it without proper papers risks prosecution, this according to section 51 of the statutory instrument 362 of 1990.The illegal sale of the flame lilly is rife during rainy season.

ZIMBABWE PARKS AND WIDLIFE MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY, ZIMPARKS, SUCCESSFULLY EXPORTS 35 AFRICAN ELEPHANTS TO CHINA

Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority would like to announce to its valued stakeholders and the people of Zimbabwe that the Authority has successfully exported 35 African elephant from Hwange National Park to China on the 23rd of December 2016. This was done after a team from Zimparks and a chief inspector from Zimbabwe National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ZNSPCA) travelled to China to inspect the facilities and conditions under which the elephants were going to live. The team visited and assessed Shanghai Exhibition Park, Beijing Wildlife Park and Hangzhou Wildlife Park. Zimparks was satisfied that the translocation process could go ahead. CITES and national rules and regulations pertaining to the live sales were religiously followed. The process of crating and ground transport and loading of elephants into the air cargo was monitored and observed by various stakeholders who comprised national security agencies and Zimbabwe Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, (ZSPCA). Destinations for any live sales undergo thorough suitability assessments, a pre-requisite for CITES, before any translocations occur and follow ups are made to any destinations to ensure compliance to international best practice. Throughout the process, the Zimbabwe National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was involved. The 35 elephants that were translocated to China were escorted as per CITES requirements by a wildlife specialist, wildlife veterinarian and elephant keeper.

Translocation of elephants from highly concentrated areas to other local national parks   is an ongoing process and is in line with the current national elephant management strategy. Relocation to other areas will be done in phases. First phase will focus on Sebungwe region which has such protected areas as Chizarira National Park and Chirisa Safari Area. Assessment of some of the areas have been done in terms of ecological and security requirements.

It is not a secret that the exercises to translocate wildlife is capital intensive, thus requires funding. Zimbabwe believes that wildlife conservation should pay for itself. Live sales of elephants to international destinations are done to generate financial resources for conservation programmes. It is also not a secret that Zimbabwe has been slammed with trade restrictions on hunted trophies of some wildlife species and raw ivory that make it almost difficult to utilise our wildlife to fund conservation. We are therefore turning to friendly countries to extract value out of our wildlife. Zimbabwe, unlike other countries has a unique wildlife conservation funding system in that no amount is budgeted for conservation in the national budget.Zimbabwe has an elephant population of over 83000 which is the second highest in Africa and the greatest population in the North-West Matabeleland. Hwange National Park is carrying over 45000 elephants against an ecological carrying capacity of 15000.Gonarezhou National Park  is one of the areas that is over populated by elephants and is carrying a population which is above 11 000 individuals against an ecological carrying capacity of around 5 000. This is an indication of the country’s best elephant management programme. However these figures, in Hwange National Park, indicate what is termed localised overabundance. This scenario has led to severe ecological damage that has affected other wildlife species. The high elephant population results in severe environmental degradation, loss of bio-diversity and increased competition for scarce resources resulting in some elephants being pushed to the peripheries of the Park, a situation that increases their vulnerability to poaching and also heightens human wildlife conflict. The cost per unit area to manage such animals particularly protection and water provision has escalated dramatically as the elephant population increases. .

To manage the ever increasing elephant population, Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority has embarked on a population reduction exercise which seeks to reduce elephant populations in Hwange National Park. Three options exist on how to manage the elephant population: Culling, translocations to low population regions and conducting live sales. The option of culling has not been considered because there is little or no value that will be extracted from the elephants.

The Zambezi Valley and Sebungwe Regions are two of the elephant ranges that have experienced declining elephant populations. The major reason for such declines include human encroachment into wildlife zones resulting in habitat loss; increased poaching. Elephant management plans have been crafted and are being implemented to address these challenges being faced in elephant conservation. As a result priority to restock will be focussed on these two regions.

 Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority has gone on a recruitment drive to increase coverage of the regions, in such areas as North West Matabeleland, where we have the highest number, and the Sebungwe Region where elephants will be relocated in the near future. Thus enhancing protection of wildlife. Education and awareness programmes are being rolled out to communities in an effort towards making communities value wildlife. Increased intelligence gathering has also been instituted through recruitment of intelligence details as well as increased international cooperation through structures such as Interpol to ensure timeous information gathering to fight wildlife crimes.  The CAMPFIRE programme is also undergoing a revamp to ensure that communities realise maximum value from wildlife thus incentivising their protection. All these interventions are being done as a precursor to reintroducing wildlife, particularly elephants in these major elephant ranges. It would be futile to immediately restock the other ranges through translocating before addressing the root causes of the elephant and other wildlife species decline. In the short term there will be translocations to the Sebungwe and Zambezi Valley in a phased process.

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Zimparks guns down hippo in Nyanyadzi

August 31, 2017August 31, 2017
Inset from Zimpapers. THE Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority last week shot dead a hippopotamus that was damaging winter wheat in Nyanyadzi. The hippo, which had a calf, is believed to have escaped from Save Conservancy. ZPWMA ordered the shooting of the hippos after traditional leaders in the area reported that it was damaging crops and endangering lives. ZPWMA officer, Mr John Danfa, said they were still hunting for the calf which is believed to have found habitat along Save River. “Usually hippos move up and down rivers during the rainy season. We believe the two escaped from Save Valley Conservancy. They were both females and they do not usually click if there is no male. “They are believed to have separated. We received reports from traditional leaders in Hot Springs and Nyanyadzi that these hippos were feeding on wheat and crops in their fields.” “People’s lives were endangered so the authorities ordered its killing. The first time we attempted to kill it, it was in the company of so many cattle and could not do anything. Our officer teamed up with villagers to track it until last week when it was shot down in Nyanyadzi”. The officer is said to have fired 12 shots before the hippo died. The meat was shared by villagers. One of the villagers in Dirikwe village, Mr Tapiwa Munyati, said: “This hippo was becoming a threat to human lives in the area. It was being spotted near homes at night. “There are vegetable gardens along one of Save River’s tributaries where it was being spotted.“We were told that hippos do not like light and the danger was that lives would have been lost.” “A villager survived death by a whisker recently when the hippo strayed into his homestead.“He went out of his house to investigate when his dogs were barking. He had a torch and the hippo advanced towards him. “Fortunately he managed to escape the attack and notified other villagers and the village head. We are appealing to the responsible authorities to make sure that the remaining one is also killed,” said Mr Munyati.