Maputo, 18 Oct (AIM) – The Limpopo National Park (PNL), in the southern Mozambican province of Gaza, has launched an aerial wildlife census which may help reduce the number of cases of human-animal conflict.
The census, budgeted at 30,000 dollars, funded by the Peace Parks Foundation (PPF), a South African conservation organization, aims to record the wildlife population in the park.
According to the administrator of the Limpopo National Park, Fernando Pariela, the data from the census will be able to shed more light on the evolution of the wildlife population and thus facilitate decision-making.
“One of the important activities we’re going to do with this data is to manage the human-wildlife conflict”, he said, adding that the aim is to survey the animals and their distribution throughout the park.
He also said that the census will help in taking measures to develop tourism in the park, pointing out that “tourism in conservation areas has wildlife as its main product.”
“Therefore, depending on the number of animals we record, it will obviously also help us make better decisions for the development of tourism”, he added.
Without giving any figures, the source said that in terms of the type of human-wildlife conflict recorded in the park, the destruction of the farms of the communities stands out.
On the occasion, the Peace Parks Foundation’s operations and development manager in Limpopo National Park, Kobus Haveman, said that the idea of the census is also to understand animal demographics, in order to ascertain how many there are, where they are and whether they are located in places where there is enough food, as well as to check the level of protection of wild animals within the park.
“We need to determine these variants. The census also aims to examine how many animals are in areas with low water level”, Haveman added.
Data from the last census carried out in the Limpopo National Park in 2018 showed that there were then 792 elephants, 5,883 buffalo, 103 giraffes, 667 hippos and 1,998 impalas, in the park.