Securing the Kafue Flats for Vulnerable Kafue Lechwe and Wattled Cranes

Timeframe: 2017-2020 // 2021-2024
Country/Region: Zambia
Partner: International Crane Foundation (ICF)

The Kafue Flats in southern Zambia are internationally important for their wetland biodiversity, but many species of wildlife are in dramatic decline. Kafue Lechwe have crashed from more than 80’000 in the late 1980s to fewer than 23’000 today. African Buffalo, Plains Zebra, and Blue Wildebeest likewise are at severe risk of local extinction.

With Fondation Segré’s support, the International Crane Foundation has completed a successful 3-year habitat restoration project for Kafue Lechwe and Wattled Cranes, removing 2’305 hectares of the invasive woody shrub, Mimosa pigra, using an integrated approach that benefitted wildlife and improved the ecological health of the Kafue Flats. However, the future of wildlife on the Kafue Flats remains threatened by the poaching pressure arising from the urban demand for bushmeat and fish.

To protect wildlife populations from further decline, Fondation Segré is supporting a second phase of this project implemented by International Crane Foundation in partnership with the Endangered Wildlife Trust. The main goal is to stabilize wildlife populations on the Kafue Flats through increasing the effectiveness of anti-poaching law enforcement at the Lochinvar and Blue Lagoon National Parks. The project will be doubling the number of community rangers deployed in the region and improving patrolling effectiveness by rolling out the SMART patrolling system, building a new radio communication system and increasing the number of patrolling vehicles. These measures are expected to benefit a diverse suite of local wildlife but in particular the vulnerable endemic Kafue Lechwe, the vulnerable Wattled Cranes and the endangered Grey Crowned Cranes.

You can read more about our support to the Phase I of the project HERE.