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Limpopo National Park’s protection unit delivered improved successes during 2013, with the arrest of 43 poachers (up from 14 in 2012) and the confiscation of 21 rifles (up from 15 in 2012).
Following on the protection turnaround strategy implemented in 2012, these successes are attributed to a number of factors, including the establishment of performance targets and results-based incentive schemes, stricter disciplinary measures and an enhanced operating environment. The latter includes the improvement of living conditions and the availability of resources such as rifles, vehicles and patrol equipment.
Special anti-poaching unit
A further improvement in successes is expected during 2014, following the recent deployment of a new 30-man special anti-poaching unit, whose activities will be concentrated in the so-called intensive protection zone along the park’s western boundary with Kruger National Park. The unit will focus on the wildlife crime challenges facing the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park.
The unit continues to undertake coordinated activities with Kruger National Park’s protection unit as part of a joint transfrontier operation, which has assisted in increased successes in the region. During February, senior managers from Kruger and Limpopo national parks met to further develop the various cooperative activities, including planning for the initiation of joint cross-border patrols.
By Antony Alexander
Limpopo National Park
*Mozambique proclaimed Limpopo National Park on 27 November 2001 and requested Peace Parks Foundation’s assistance in overseeing its development as a Southern African Development Community approved project, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Cooperation and Development through KfW, Agence Française de Développement, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit and the World Bank.