Some 2,000 animals of various species, including 500 elephants, are being moved from Liwonde National Park and Majete Wildlife Reserve in southern Malawi to Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve in the northern part of the small southern-central African country, African Parks, a nonprofit conservation managing ten parks in seven African countries, said in a media statement.
“500 Elephants”, project, a collaboration with Malawi’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife, is the largest ever translocation of elephants to a single reserve, and is one of the most significant translocation initiatives in conservation history, according to the statement. Starting July 2016, 250 elephants will be moved from Liwonde, with another 250 to be moved from Majete in July 2017.
“Translocations are a valuable, resource-intensive conservation management strategy that can be applied to protected areas to actively reduce risk of species extinction by broadening their range and increasing their numbers. Exemplifying proactive conservation, “500 Elephants” is an example of human-assisted migration, and is these elephants’ best hope for a sustainable future in which herds have the opportunity to stabilize and grow,” the two entities said their statement.
“A project of this scale is logistically challenging and requires substantial capacity. What this initiative demonstrates is that scale does not have to be a limitation. Seemingly extreme measures can be taken to alleviate overstocked parks, to restock new parks, and to relocate animals from unprotected areas to protected areas. This translocation also showcases the extraordinary lengths people from various sectors will go to actively protect an endangered species.”
David Braun is director of outreach with the digital and social media team illuminating the National Geographic Society’s explorer, science, and education programs.
He edits National Geographic Voices, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society’s mission and major initiatives. Contributors include grantees and Society partners, as well as universities, foundations, interest groups, and individuals dedicated to a sustainable world. More than 50,000 readers have participated in 10,000 conversations.
Braun also directs the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship.