Chad’s Zakouma National Park is becoming an incredible story of recovery thanks to the collaboration between the NGO African Parks and the Chadian government. From a situation where poaching was rife and wildlife populations declining steeply, the area is now secure with increasing wildlife populations. African Parks are in the process of planning a major geographic expansion in their support for wildlife protection and management. LRF is enabling a major survey of lions and prey species. This survey has the dual purpose of guiding African Parks’ future management and protection efforts – such that they focus in the areas where the largest remaining wildlife populations persist. In addition, the results will be used to encourage the Chadian government to elevate the legal status of the areas of land with the largest remaining wildlife populations. African Parks’ proposed expanded footprint of 10,400 square miles includes vast swathes of land where lions are considered ‘possibly extinct’ – and provide hope of creating a major stronghold for the species in Central Africa.
Update: A second grant was issued to under-take research to identify the factors that are limiting the lion population and to purchase a vehicle that will enable African Parks to undertake anti-poaching patrols in the areas where lions are found to move to in the wet season.