African Parks, a non-profit organisation that is responsible for the returning Malawi’s top national parks and wildlife reserves to their former glory, have begun a historical relocation of 250 elephants in Malawi. Samuel Kamoto, Malawi Country Manager for African Parks, shares an update on the process in his own words:
I am extremely pleased to share that the relocation of 250 elephants from Liwonde National Park to Kasungu National Park in Malawi, is underway. This historic effort is being carried out in collaboration with Malawi’s Department of National Parks & Wildlife (DNPW) and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), with generous funding from the Elephant Cooperation and other anonymous supporters.
These elephants represent the pinnacle of a truly successful conservation model – for the species and for Malawi.
I started working to protect Malawi’s last wild places and its vulnerable species in 1985. But it wasn’t until I started working for African Parks in 2012 that I first experienced the meaning behind conservation at scale. The wild areas I once thought were lost, have been restored. And species I thought were gone forever, have returned.
And nowhere is it more evident than in Liwonde National Park, which has set the benchmark for ambitious restoration initiatives to help re-establish key species. Since African Parks commenced management in 2015, cheetahs returned in 2017, lions in 2019, and African wild dogs in 2021. But none of these translocations are more memorable than 500 Elephants – the largest elephant translocation in history, which moved 520 elephants, 366 of which were from Liwonde, to repopulate Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve.
And here we are, making history once again.
With poaching practically eliminated, Liwonde’s extraordinary conservation success is highlighted in its ever-increasing elephant numbers which enables us to restock other areas to alleviate pressure on the park and reduce conflict situations with local communities. As a result, we can use Liwonde’s population as a source to help repopulate Kasungu National Park in a massive undertaking that will contribute to overall elephant conservation in Malawi.
While elephant numbers are threatened across their range by continued ivory poaching and habitat degradation, Malawi has become a safe haven where these giants can thrive, contributing to our country’s biodiversity and tourism industry.
Learn more about the project in our previous article here.
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