* Malawi’s Department of National Parks & Wildlife is translocating the 250 elephants from Liwonde to Kasungu national parks
* In conjunction with collaborative partners — African Parks and International Fund for Animal Welfare
* Exercise also involves translocation of 80 buffaloes; 120 impalas; 25 sable antelopes; 80 warthogs and 100 waterbucks
By Duncan Mlanjira
The translocation of 250 elephants from Liwonde National Park in Machinga to Kasungu National Park currently underway, has not gone unnoticed by the world as one of the UK’s Media house, The Guardian, has captured it on its environment gallery’s ‘The week in wildlife – in pictures’.
The opening caption is “best of this week’s wildlife pictures, including killer whales hunting a seal off Shetland and endangered mountain bongos in Kenya”, and Machinga is included amongst rare sights also captured in Israel, Mexico, China, Turkey, Scotland, Germany, Guatemala, Italy, Taiwan, Denmark and Thailand.
In conjunction with collaborative partners — that include African Parks and International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) — Malawi’s Department of National Parks & Wildlife is translocating the 250 elephants as well as 485 other animals, which started from June 27 up to July 29.
Dubbed ‘Elephants on the Move’, this is the second largest elephant translocation after the successful 520 largest elephant translocations in history done in 2016 and 2017, which African Parks undertook of which 366 were moved from Liwonde — to alleviate habitat pressure, reduce human wildlife conflict and repopulate Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve.
This time around, the exercise also involves translocation of 80 buffaloes; 120 impalas; 25 sable antelopes; 80 warthogs and 100 waterbucks.
When announcing the exercise, Director for the Department of National Parks & Wildlife, Brighton Kumchedwa told the media that this was “part of a national conservation initiative to maintain healthy habitats in Malawi’s national parks, establish viable elephant populations and ensure the prosperity of local communities living around the parks”.
Using state-of-the-art equipment and vehicles, the animals are being transported approximately 350kms via road from Liwonde National Park — managed by conservation organisation African Parks — to Kasungu National Park, with support from IFAW.
National Parks & Wildlife Department partnered with African Parks in 2015 to improve security and ecologically rehabilitate Liwonde National Park for people and wildlife, and to realise its full tourism potential and has since set a benchmark for ambitious restoration initiatives, which has helped re-establish key species and restore healthy ecosystem processes.
So far a report by Associated Press, written by Malawian journalist, Gregory Gondwe — entitled ‘Malawi moves elephants from overcrowded park to larger one’ — has been used by renowed world media houses such as Jersey Evening Post; Irish Examiner; VOA News; US News; The Independent; The Telegraph; The Indian Nation; Welland Tribune, amongst others.