8 August 2017
As the last elephants disappeared into the thick bush of their new home to reunite with the rest of their family unit, game capture and veterinarian teams exchange glances of relief – grateful that their skill and dedication had been able to keep these African giants safe during the 700km journey from Liwonde to Nyika.
It is never a conservationist’s first choice to put even one elephant through such a potentially arduous experience, and even more so, 34 elephants. In Liwonde, though, the carrying capacity for elephant had been far exceeded. Nyika, on the other hand, still offers ample space, and indeed, will benefit from the addition of new elephant groups to improve viability of the herd and fast-track recovery of critical numbers – making this translocation a win for both the elephants and the park.
Thanks to increased anti-poaching efforts made possible through the TFCA establishment process, the Nyika National Park has seen a steady increase of wildlife over the years. This trend is also evident in the growth of the elephant population that has multiplied considerably from the mere 32 elephants counted in 2004. With the additional 34 elephant now being released into the Park, new genes will be introduced to bolster the population health of the resident population.
Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, the Honourable Aggrey Masi, reiterated Malawi’s commitment: “We are committed to intensifying anti-poaching operations and supporting community development in areas adjacent to these protected areas. One road to achieving this, is through good conservation management that leads to the development of a healthy eco-tourism industry. Supplementing the elephant population in Nyika will not only have long-term benefit for elephant conservation, but will at the same time benefit communities surrounding the park through the spin-offs from growth in tourism.”
The translocation was initiated by the Government of Malawi, and funded by Peace Parks Foundation through a substantial investment received from Stichting Dioraphte.
Much of the funding is being used to ensure the seamless and safe acclimatisation of the elephants to their new environment. For the next twelve months, the elephants will remain in a newly constructed sanctuary of 7,000ha that is big enough for them to feed naturally from the vegetation. They will be monitored closely on a daily basis and only once the newly introduced herd is established, will they be released into the larger park. A light aircraft has also been purchased and two staff members of the country’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife will be trained as pilots. The aerial support will aid in monitoring the translocated elephants once released from the sanctuary, as well as with day-to-day conservation management within Nyika National Parks and Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve. In addition, the matriarch elephants have been fitted with VHF and satellite collars, to enable tracking of their movements.
2 November 2017Update: Translocated Nyika elephants settle in
In August 2017, 34 elephants were translocated from Liwonde National Park to Nyika National Park, Malawi. The elephants are all healthy and settling in to their new habitat on the Nyika Plateau. Thisread more
5 July 2017Park receives first vehicle in almost 20 years!
Late in June, Peace Parks Foundation had the pleasure of delivering a Toyota Land Cruiser to Zambia's Department of National Parks and Wildlife for use in Zambia's Lukusuzi National Park, part of theread more
7 July 2015Treaty establishing the Malawi-Zambia Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA) signed
Marking another major step in southern Africa’s transfrontier conservation development, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Malawi, Prof Arthur Peter Mutharika, and His Excellency the Prread more
12 November 2014President Peter Mutharika of Malawi becomes an honorary patron
President Peter Mutharika of Malawi has honoured Peace Parks Foundation by agreeing to become an honorary patron of the foundation. Peace Parks Foundation has been working closely with the Malawi Depread more
11 November 2014Cross-border collaboration in the Malawi-Zambia TFCA
A Malawi-Zambia TFCA conservation week event, entitled 'Collaborating towards conservation and sustainable livelihoods', was held in Malawi from 28 October to 1 November 2014.read more
4 August 2014Further funding for the Malawi-Zambia TFCAread more
17 May 2012Norway Grant Agreement for Nyika TFCA signed
Following on an earlier report regarding the funding secured for the Nyika TFCA involving Malawi and Zambia, the Norway Grant Agreement was signed on 16 May 2012.read more
26 April 2012Sustainable management of the Nyika TFCA
Earlier this year the World Bank announced that all conditions had been met for it to release a Global Environmental Facility Trust Fund Grant to the value of $4.82 million to develop the Nyika TFCAread more
3 December 2008Working with WCS and COMACO
The Kasungu-Lukusuzi TFCA, which is part of the Malawi/Zambia TFCA comprises two proclaimed national parks: the Lukusuzi National Park in Zambia and the Kasungu National Park in Malawi. Separating theread more