Zambian Carnivore Programme
Who We Are
The Zambian Carnivore Programme (ZCP) is a non-profit Zambian-registered trust dedicated to conserving large carnivores and the ecosystems in which they reside through a three pronged approach: Applied research to identify and evaluate the limiting factors and threats to the persistence of species and ecosystems; Conservation and management activities to address immediate threats as identified by research; Capacity-building and education to ensure sustainability through implementing training, employment, and educational opportunities for aspiring Zambians students. ZCP currently works in all of the country’s major large carnivore populations—the largest wild dog, cheetah, lion, leopard and spotted hyena populations, with field-based projects in Eastern Zambia’s Luangwa Valley, the Greater Liuwa Ecosystem, and the Greater Kafue Ecosystem. We work closely with the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA), as well as a number of academic institutions, including Montana State University, California State University-Monterrey, and University of Arizona. Our research currently provides the only scientific data on large carnivores and herbivores for much of their range in Zambia and has been utilized extensively in guiding Zambian conservation policy.
What We Do
ZCP provides data to the Zambia Wildlife Authority in order to inform their conservation decision-making processes with regards to large carnivores. Accordingly, ZCP relies on a full-time, year round research presence in our study sites. The research entails intensive studies of radio-collared packs, prides, clans, and coalitions as well as broader landscape level evaluations of carnivore presence, abundance, distribution and that of their prey species. ZCP study sites encompass a wide range of biological, environmental and human variation, with differing key variables such as carnivore abundance, diversity, and distribution, prey abundance and diversity, habitat types, climate, and human impacts. Collectively this allows a unique opportunity and effective means to evaluate the dynamics of these species across a broad array of factors.
There are a variety of threats and limiting factors to carnivores and their habitats across all of the ZCP study sites. While accurate and current research is needed to effectively inform conservation efforts, eminent threats identified by research require immediate attention. Consequently ZCP has a wide range of collaborative conservation initiatives including addressing wire-snaring, bushmeat poaching and human encroachment; domestic dog vaccinations to reduce disease transmission to wild populations; monitoring and mitigating human-carnivore conflict; and assisting with species reintroduction.
The sustainability of ZCP’s work relies on the ability of current and future Zambian conservationists to receive the training, education and employment necessary to ensure continuity of the process. Consequently we have a comprehensive educational programme beginning at the secondary school level and extending up through the international Ph.D. level. Currently, ZCP has Zambian graduate students attached to every project and attending top international universities, supports university studies and certificate programs for local students and staff, conducts collaborative educational and training programmes for secondary school Conservation Club students, and has just recently initiated a scholarship program with the Southern African Wildlife College. On a daily basis we provide practical on-the-job training for staff and ZAWA with skills ranging from field research techniques to computer literacy to automobile mechanics.
How One Can Help
ZCP accepts donations either directly in Zambia or through a non-profit funding agency in the United States. Donations can be made for the general operation costs of ZCP or for specific aspects of our research, education, and/or conservation programmes. Additionally, ZCP maintains a “Wish List” for research equipment that would greatly facilitate our fieldwork. We can happily send this list to interested donors who may prefer to donate equipment. For more information, please contact us through the following form.
Organization Contact Details:
PO Box 80, Mfuwe
Eastern Province, Zambia