Lions, Zimbabwe

IMG_0636 (1280x960)Zimbabwe has announced plans to evacuate lions from Chiredzi River Conservancy, part of the Trans Frontier Conservation Area in the south eastern lowveld due to conflict with encroaching settlements.  Large areas of the Conservancy have now been settled by humans leaving the lions on a small “island” measuring about 2 000 ha.  The CRC’s elephant population is also in severe danger.  Problems associated with encroaching settlement are poaching, game poisoning, introduction of cattle which may also carry foot and mouth disease and pollution of wildlife watering holes.  This press release from 2011 describes how ZANU-PF’s policies have contributed to the loss of conservancy areas.  I have been unable to get information about the overall size of the Chiredzi River Conservancy Area.  Here is the internet connection to the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force and a Facebook connection.  For those persons who do not use Facebook and so cannot access this site, this is from the ZCTF Facebook “About” page:

“It is estimated that more than 90% of the game in private game ranches has been lost to poachers and illegal hunters during the last five years. The loss in conservancies is estimated to be 60% and in national parks almost 40%. The slaughter of wildlife in Zimbabwe continues unabated. It is estimated that game ranches have lost between 80% and 90% of wildlife to poachers and the larger conservancies, have lost around 60%. Some game ranchers have reported that they do not have a single animal left. Some of these game ranches and conservancies are home to endangered species. The poachers do not discriminate between endangered and common species. The Painted Dog, an endangered species previously hand reared on a conservancy in Gwayi near Victoria Falls, has been totally eliminated.”

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