THEMA: Gorongosa NP - Bueffel wieder angesiedelt
25 Okt 2007 09:25 #51379
  • Andreas Cierpka
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  • Andreas Cierpka am 25 Okt 2007 09:25
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Conservation Success Story: Threatened Buffalo Relocated to GNP

September 13 was a great day at Gorongosa National Park! As the result of an accord between Gorongosa National Park (GNP) and Limpopo National Park, and with the help of our neighbors from South African National Parks (SAN Parks), 31 African buffalo were captured and transferred to our Wildlife Sanctuary.

The buffalos came from Mabalane District in Gaza Province in southern Mozambique, where they faced a very tenuous future as their habitat had become surrounded by human development. The buffalo were putting pressure on the local communities, especially because of the very dry conditions this year, destroying machambas (agricultural plots) in that area. As a result, the local communities were very happy for us to remove the buffalo. The government of Mozambique granted permission for these buffalo to be captured and transferred to GNP in order to preserve the lives of these animals, resolve human-animal conflict, and assist with the restoration of GNP. As an act of both conflict resolution and conservation, this was a winning situation all around!

Working in collaboration with wildlife capture and relocation experts from SAN Parks, a team of veterinarians, scientists, and wildlife managers from GNP rounded up and captured the Mabalane buffalo using capture boma, helicopter and ground support. (Last year, a survey to determine the health status of the buffalos was carried out. The results showed that the animals were free of tuberculosis and brucellosis but were carriers of two other diseases of high importance for the cattle economy of the southern region.) The captured buffalo were loaded onto two specialized trucks and transported north to GNP. The entire capture and transport operation was conducted within about 30 hours including transit. The team stopped every hour en route to check on the animals' condition and, as needed, to give the animals additional tranquilizer to keep the them calm. In addition, the majority of the road transport was conducted during the nighttime hours when temperatures are cooler for the comfort of the animals. All of the buffalo arrived in good condition, including several calves born earlier this year and one large bull who had been injured on one of his legs by a snare trap. The bull was treated and is expected to make a full recovery.

The buffalo remained for three days in the boma of our Wildlife Sanctuary, an enclosed area where the animals could be observed to insure all were in healthy condition before they were released into a larger area within the Sanctuary. There, they are able to graze and roam freely, protected by a fence that keeps out major predators and allow us to better control hunting. By protecting these animals in the Sanctuary, our hope is that they will thrive and reproduce well, rebuilding Gorongosa's once famous buffalo population.

Gorongosa National Park extends its warmest thanks to SAN Parks for its support of our restoration efforts and, in particular, appreciates the assistance of all of the technicians and staff from the Veterinary Services Department, Limpopo National Park and the Mozambique Ministry of Tourism. This effort was the second of two buffalo operations conducted this season.
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