I just returned from the amazing, Zakouma National Park in Chad, one of the many parks run by the groundbreaking conservation group African Parks in partnership with the Chadian government and the local communities. @africanparksnetwork
Black Rhinos are back - having “disappeared” from Chad due to poaching in 1972 but now 6 black rhinos have been successfully moved cross continent from South Africa to Zakouma. Here is Harry in his boma at night. All six rhinos are happy and healthy!
In this historic move to aid in the long-term survival of this endangered and heavily threatened species, six black rhinos are being reintroduced bringing this animal back to the country for the first time in over four decades. The translocation is an extraordinary cross-collaboration between the South African Department of Environmental Affairs, the Government of the Republic of Chad, as well as African Parks and South African National Park (SANParks). This is a hopeful story about the revival of a highly threatened species, as well as the trajectory of Zakouma - a park that was once ravaged by poaching and insecurity but has been transformed into a secure and flourishing park since 2010. This international conservation initiative is unprecedented and saw these black rhinos being flown over 3,000 miles to the well-protected Zakouma National Park, managed by African Parks since 2010 in partnership with the Government of Chad. overhauling law enforcement and working closely with the local communities to protect the park. Without the support of local communities this would not work. Local people are the anti-poaching patrols.
They have jobs in other parts of the park including tourism and management. This is truly a remarkable effort to repopulate and protect African Parks.
Blood being taken from a lion in South African who is being moved to Malawi! to repopulate lions there.
Malawi’s lion population gets a boost. I was able to be on the ground with the conservation group African Parks (@AfricanParksNetwork) to document the immobilization of the first round of lions from South Africa, to be reintroduced to one of the 15 parks under their management - Liwonde National Park in Malawi. Two males were successfully translocated in February, and just last week, four more joined them, and more will follow over the coming weeks with support from the Dutch Government, @lionrecovery and @leonardodicapriofdn. This is all part of a predator restoration project where @AfricanParksNetwork has reintroduced lions and cheetahs to Liwonde, helping to restore the park ecologically as well as to help boost tourism creating needed revenue for local communities. The @washingtonpost recently reported on their efforts in Malawi and other parks they are managing calling them the 21st century Noah’s Ark. It’s a hopeful story not just for lions, but for all wildlife and people who are living in these areas. Peter Fearnhead, CEO of African Parks said “Very simply, if a park is not being managed, then it will be lost. We have two options, one is we allow these places to disappear. The other is we make our own plan”. By working with Governments and local communities, they are enacting their plan to protect and restore protected areas across Africa for people and wildlife. Follow @africanparksnetwork to learn more about their work across Africa. @washingtonpost@stevewinterphoto@AfricanParksNetwork@natgeo@leonardodicapriofdn@lionrecovery
Video by @stevewinterphoto and @alexbraczkowski for @africanparksnetwork
A large male African lion walks along the edge of Zakouma's Riegwek wetland with a reedbuck kill. Thousands of spur wing geese, crested cranes, hartebeest and tiang gather around the few remaining waterholes late in the dry season and many get stuck in the clay-laden mud. Lions make easy kills at these waterholes and for 2 weeks @stevewinterphoto and I watched lions congregating at every water point across the park, waiting, hunting and relaxing at the waters edge. @africanparksnetwork took management control of Zakouma just over ten years ago with a conservation model aimed at developing local livelihoods, bettered protection on the ground and robust wildlife management. Visit @africanparksnetwork to learn more about their national park work and how they're helping wildlife bounce back across Africa.
Lions in Malawi, the ‘warm heart of Africa’, are making a comeback! The country’s pride is growing as six wild lions have been safely transported from South Africa to their new homes in Majete Wildlife Reserve and Liwonde National Park to help revive the parks’ predator populations. Just last week, four of these lions (two males and two females) joined the two male lions who were translocated to Liwonde in February this year. Lions were last seen in the park over four years ago, and it had been even longer since a breeding population lived in the park. We moved the other two males to Majete Wildlife Reserve to improve the genetic diversity of the current lion population there. All lions are in secure enclosures (bomas) where they are adjusting to their new environment and bonding, and will be released over the coming weeks and months. Africa’s wildlife has suffered immensely in recent decades, and the lion population has crashed by more than 40% since 1993. Just 100 years ago, more than 200,000 lions lived in Africa- today, best estimates put them at fewer than 20,000. “Very simply, if a park is not being managed then it will be lost, we have two options, one is we allow these places to disappear. The other is we make our own plan,” says CEO of @africanparksnetwork, Peter Fearnhead who was recently quoted by the Washington Post (see link in our bio). By working closely with the Government of Malawi, the local community as with critical support from the Dutch Government, @lionrecovery and @leonardodicapriofdn – we are making a plan to restore the species to protected areas across Africa for the benefit of future generations. #AfricanParks#NaturesReturn#Conservation#Wildlife#Liwonde#Majete#Lions#Predators@africanparksnetwork#DutchGovernment, @lionrecovery and @leonardodicapriofdn@reddigitalcinema#reddigitalcinema@CanonUSA#CanonUSA@zakouma_national_park
Video by @stevewinterphoto and @alexbraczkowski
An African lioness walks past basking Nile crocodiles in Zakouma's Tim waterhole, Chad. Since @africanparksnetwork has taken over management of Zakouma wildlife populations (especially elephants) have rebounded and the site may be an incredibly critical one for African lions. @stevewinterphoto and I filmed and photographed lions dominating Zakouma's main water sources before the rains came and even watched them kill reedbuck! Follow @africanparksnetwork to see their incredible wildlife conservation work across west, central and Southern Africa. Stay tuned to my, Steve's and the @natgeo and @natgeowild feeds over the coming weeks as we show you the splendor of Zakouma, its new black rhino arrivals and other incredible wildlife! Thanks to @reddigitalcinema for their Weapon 8K Helium - it has been our video camera of choice for this trip!
@sharon.guynup’s latest piece on Pangolins is out now on Mongabay.com. Click on the link in my bio to read the article. As Sharon writes “the survival of these unusual animals is intrinsically linked to the survival of other species, says Hywood, who calls the pangolin “nature’s true gardeners.” As they dig for ants and termites, they loosen and aerate the soil, she explains, creating “an environment where seeds can germinate and grow into plants that feed other species.” Pangolins offer another important ecosystem service: they regulate ant and termite populations, with a single adult individual consuming millions of insects each year..This shy, toothless, insect-eating animal is the planet’s most-trafficked mammal and wildlife traders now target Africa’s four pangolin species because the four Asian pangolin species have been hunted to near extinction, poached off the continent.
Image courtesy of the Tikki Hywood Foundation, Zimbabwe.
Today is a historic day for South Africa and Chad
The black rhinoceros is returning to Chad after almost 50 years.
Earlier today, six black rhinos were loaded for transport from South Africa as the result of an unprecedented international collaboration among South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), the Chadian Government, South African National Parks (SANParks) and African Parks, to reintroduce the species to the Republic of Chad.
These rhinos are being translocated by air over 3,000 miles from South Africa to Zakouma National Park, a park that has been managed by African Parks in partnership with the Government of Chad since 2010. While the country’s last black rhino was recorded in 1972, over the past seven years poaching inside the park has essentially been eliminated, elephants are on the rise for the first time in over a decade, and extensive measures have been taken to establish Chad as a rhino range-state once again. @africanparksnetwork@natgeo@stevewinterphoto@sanparks#africanparksnetwork@blackrhino#chad#africanparks
Today is the last day to purchase a signed print of my image of a curious Snow Leopard during @natgeocreative’s Flash Sale. Click on the link in my profile to see the full collection of
globetrotting prints available for $100. And if you’re in the D.C area join me at @NatGeoMuseum May 1 for an inside look at camera traps and other technologies that help me photograph leopards and jaguars - ultimately helping us protect them and their shrinking habitats #NatGeoDC https://www.nationalgeographic.org/dc/events/shrinking-kingdoms-leopards-jaguars/