10 July 2020

Malawi: Zebra and waterbuck are being reintroduced to Kasungu National Park!

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) in conjunction with Malawi's Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) has begun translocating zebra and waterbuck from Kuti Wildlife Reserve in Salima in central Malawi to Kasungu National Park in western Malawi. The first seven zebra (four mares and three stallions) arrived at the National Park on 08 July 2020. 
The reintroduction of zebra will bolster the population in Kasungu National Park to 21 animals, while the waterbuck will make up a founder breeding herd. These, together with the elephant population which has grown to more than 100 from the last 50 remaining in 2015, is bringing life back to Kasungu National Park's empty spaces. Leopard, wild dog, and lion have also been sighted back in the National Park after a long absence.

Kasungu National Park is Malawi's second largest National Park (240,000²-hectare). It is located west of Kasungu, about 175 km north of Lilongwe, extending along Malawi's border with Zambia. The National Park used to be home to over 1,000 elephants, herds of waterbuck, at least 500 zebra and quantities of buffalo and many other species. Decades of severe poaching and encroachment into the National Park decimated the once majestic herds to virtual local extinction. In early 2016, IFAW and DNPW started working together on an ambitious project to bring Kasungu National Park back from the brink. IFAW began to rebuild the infrastructure, train an effective and efficient wildlife ranger force and end rampant poaching of wildlife in the National Park. Through this partnership and great transformation, the Kasungu National Park is now a safe space for wildlife.

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