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Southern Africa Rapid Response Grant

Zambezi Delta Emergency Funding: Anti-Poaching, Lion and Leopard Monitoring, Alternative Livelihoods and Monitoring of Programs normally funded by visitor income

Terrestrial Protected Area and Indigenous and Community Conserved Area (ICCA) Key Landscape for Conservation Key Biodiversity Area
Governance Management Effectiveness Livelihoods
Local Communities Youth and women Farmers/fishermen
Illegal activities Threatened species Ecosystem/habitat restoration
Mozambique, Southern Africa

Protected and conserved area(s) concerned

The Zambezi Delta in Mozambique. WDPA ID 303674

The BIOPAMA AC Objectives addressed

IM4.1 # of PCAs with improved monitoring system thanks to BIOPAMA AC project.
IM4.2 Area concerned in Km2
IM6.1 # of PCAs with improved native species status thanks to BIOPAMA AC project.
IM6.2 # of endangered species benefiting of targeted actions thanks to BIOPAMA AC project.
IM6.3 # of endangered species with improved status thanks to BIOPAMA AC project.
IM7.1 # of PCAs with improved threat management, enhanced response, mitigation or eradication thanks to BIOPAMA AC project. (the threat has to be specified: CC, illegal hunting, IAS; etc…)
IM7.2 Measure in figures of the reduction of threat.
IM7.3 Area covered in Km2.
IM8.3 Measure in figures of the improvement (i.e. reduction of illegal activities).
IM9.1 # of PCAs with enhanced efforts for maintaining ecological attributes and processes thanks to BIOPAMA AC project.
IM9.2 Area covered in Km2.
IM15.1 # of PCAs with enhanced benefits for local communities thanks to BIOPAMA AC project.
IM15.2 # of communities benefiting of enhanced socio-economic benefits from PCAs thanks to BIOPAMA AC project.
IM15.3 # of indigenous people benefiting of enhanced socio-economic benefits from PCAs thanks to BIOPAMA AC project.

Priority need addressed

Funding of this project will ensure the continuity of: (1) employment and deployment of anti-poaching teams; (2) monitoring of lion and leopard populations (3) establishment of permanent, sustainable agricultural fields to feed the resident community and (4) the use of technology to help to inform this and future projects.

Project activities


Anti-poaching patrols by foot, motorbike and air, cover many of the footpaths and roads in the area, as well as known poaching hotspots. Foot patrols cover approximately 120 km a week, motorbikes 1000 km a week, and helicopters are in the air for approximately 30 hours a week. This anti-poaching activity will help to reduce losses of key species to illegal hunting. The patrols will also help in the on ground monitoring of key species, alerting management if they spot any issues, such as snared to injured animals needing assistance.

In addition, the monitoring of collared lions will help to assess the condition and size of the lion population, and give managers short notice of any problems with the collared lions, by assessing movement patterns sent by the satellite collars. Any unusual patterns will result in attaining a visual assessment of the animal/s concerned and, if necessary, veterinary attention to the animal.

The leopard population is also being strategically monitored by making use of permanent camera traps.  Individual animals can be identified using their unique spot patterns and counts of individuals used to estimate the size of the population in the area. It is important for these camera traps to be maintained as their monitoring helps in the prevention of human wildlife interaction and the losses of leopards to poaching. Lastly this grant is supporting the growing of food crops in the area to feed communities whose livelihoods have been negatively affected by the loss of income from visitors during the pandemic. The crops are being grown in a sustainable way to feed the community, generate income (from sales of excess produce), and limit the impact of individual families clearing new areas of forest to plant small scale crops and commercially harvest firewood.

The change the project implementation will bring for the protected area(s)

The Rapid Response Grant will be used to provide immediate protection for lions and leopards through anti-poaching patrols, snare removal whilst providing alternative livelihoods to avoid an increase poaching and forest clearing.

The change expected, is the long-term viability of the reintroduced lions will be reached in 2022 if the lions continue breeding. The lion population will be monitored for at least the next 10 years at which stage we have modelled that the population will be 83 lions, which would make the Delta one of the main strongholds of lions in world. The current estimated density of leopards is 1.6 leopards per 100km2; the milestone for leopard populations would be to see an increase to 2.6 leopards per 100km2 which would in line with the density recorded for the only other leopard site in Mozambique.

Food security to reduce impact of bush meat poaching and deforestation will be sustained and additional training will be funded from tourism income. The decreased amount of work and increased productivity of conservation agriculture as compared to slash and burn as well as the income from the surplus demonstrated during this project should also contribute to sustainability. In the longer term it is envisaged that the community would be agriculturally self-sufficient and independent and would have moved away from slash and burn agriculture.

Download the project infofiche.

Implementing organisations

Southern African Wildlife College (NPO)

Photo credits: © Southern African Wildlife College

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