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Discovering tomorrow

Centre for African Conservation Ecology

13/03/2015

                           

ACE PhD students, Kristoffer Everatt and Leah Andresen are undertaking research on the landscape ecology of apex predators across the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Their recent survey of the Banhine National Park, Mozambique, yielded evidence of the presence of cheetah, lion and African wild dog, as well as elephants. These findings are unexpected and significant because cheetah and wild dog were thought to have been absent from the area since Mozambique’s civil war in the 1970’s. Kris and Leah have collected genetic data which will be used to determine if these predator populations are a result of recent immigration or are pre-war relics. Similarly, elephant were thought to be absent from the park due to poaching, and little was known on the status of lions. The presence of these flagship species also bodes well for the motivation for the development of the Banhine National Park as a tourism destination, thereby contributing to local economic development. An ACE report documenting these preliminary findings has been prepared for the governing authorities in Mozambique and can be found on the ACE website.