Engaging communities to restore threatened carnivore and depleted ungulate populations in Luengue-Luiana NP

Timeframe: 2018 - 2020
Country/Region: Angola
Partner: Panthera

Angola’s Luengue-Luiana National Park, amongst the largest (42’000 km2) and least resourced national park in Africa, houses six larger mammal species classified as Vulnerable or Endangered. Each shares the park with about 220 small communal settlements. Human residence is largely a consequence of Angola’s three decades long civil war, with people in the area being extremely impoverished. Wildlife has suffered almost a century of hunting, both for financial gain and especially survival during the civil war. Currently, pervasive bushmeat hunting by local villagers and syndicate-driven poaching of African elephants has resulted in extremely low densities of Vulnerable African lions and their favoured prey; low densities of Vulnerable leopards, cheetahs, giraffes and elephants; and moderate densities of Endangered African wild dogs. To secure the site, restore ecosystem functionality, and unlock potential for benefits for human communities, we propose to engage at two scales: a 15’000 km2 Important Habitat Zone (IHZ) and an Intensive Protection Zone of 500 km2 within the IHZ.

This program implemented by Panthera and supported by Fondation Segré will integrate community game guards and conventional law enforcement officers that deliver benefits to the community as active conservation and business partners contributing to wildlife population recovery.

The main goal is that by 2022, lions, leopards, cheetahs, African wild dogs, giraffes, zebras, and bovids will be starting to trend towards proportionate carrying capacities reflective of a functional savanna ecosystem within the Important Habitat Zone (IHZ) of Luengue-Luiana National Park. Hopefully, elephant poaching will also be reduced by 50% within the Intensive Protection Zone.