The Limpopo National Park (PNL), located in Gaza province, southern Mozambique, is looking for mechanisms to reduce the number of cases of human-animal conflict.
To this end, an aerial wildlife census began this week, an exercise worth around 30,000 dollars funded by the Peace Parks Foundation (PPF), a South African conservation organisation, with the aim of recording the wildlife population in the park.
According to the administrator of Limpopo National Park, Fernando Pariela, the data from the census will be able to shed more light on the evolution of the wildlife population and thus facilitate decision-making.
“One of the important activities we’re going to do with this data [from the census] is to manage the human-wildlife conflict,” he said, adding that the aim is to survey the animals and their distribution throughout the park.
He also said that the census will help in taking measures to develop tourism in the park, pointing out that “tourism in conservation areas has wildlife as its main product”.
“Therefore, depending on the number of animals we record, it will obviously also help us make better decisions for the development of tourism,” he said.
Without giving any figures, the source said that in terms of the type of human-wildlife conflict recorded in the park, the destruction of the communities’ farms stands out.
On the occasion, the Peace Parks Foundation’s operations and development manager in Limpopo National Park, Kobus Haveman, said that the idea of the census is also to understand animal demographics, including how many there are, where they are and whether they are located in a place where there is enough food, as well as to check the level of protection of wild animals within the park.
“So firstly we need to determine these variants. Secondly, the census also aims to examine how many animals are in areas with low water levels,” added Haveman.
The census, which is being supported by aerial resources, will take place over a period of 10 days with the participation of five technicians responsible for counting the animals and three pilots.
Data from the last census carried out in the Limpopo National Park in 2018 shows that there are 792 elephants, 5,883 buffalo, 103 giraffes, 667 hippos and 1,998 impalas, among other species.