Transfrontier area plays vital role in Kruger’s conservation
The safety of Kruger is tightly linked to law-enforcement activities taking place in the neighbouring protected area.
6 hours ago
SKUKUZA – Local and international media were taken on a tour this week through the Limpopo National Park (LNP) for an update on developments on this side of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (GLTCA).
In part, management also used the opportunity to dispel some untruths it thinks are prevalent about this Mozambican protected area.
This includes that there are no animals, or that most poachers enter Kruger through LNP, where the fence was dropped between the two protected areas.
Recent census counts pinned both elephant and buffalo populations at over 1 000 animals each in this park, but Peace Parks Foundation project manager for the LNP, Mr Anthony Alexander stressed that the park would never be able to compete with Kruger when it came to game sightings. Rather, the product that it offered was “wilderness”.
The roads here are quiet and untarred, the accommodation facilities unfenced and the presence of other tourists near unnoticeable. Yet, this park is important to South Africa for many other reasons.
Good rain in the north of the LNP has attracted a number of animals from Kruger, offering, for the moment, a safer haven to animals from drier parts.
The safety of Kruger is also tightly linked to law-enforcement activities taking place in the neighbouring protected area.
LNP management has been ongoingly relocating villages out of the park to newly constructed ones outside the park borders. Massinger Velho, one of the stops on the media tour, was one of eight villages being resettled. In total about 1 600 people were affected.
Alexander stressed the importance of large, transfrontier conservation areas such as the GLTCA. “A successful GLTCA makes for a successful Kruger,” he said.
He explained that once all the villages had been moved, the park will form a roughly 75-kilometre buffer zone of rugged terrain that poachers wanting to enter Kruger, will have to move through before reaching the park.
Mr Carlos Lopes Perreira, head of anti-poaching for the Mozambican National Association of Conservation Areas stressed that wildlife and coordinated crime could not be dealt with in isolation, and that they had been adapting their strategies in accordance to the poachers changing theirs.
For example, most now enter Kruger through the western boundary, instead of across the border.http://lowvelder.co.za/321188/massinger/