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Biodiversity

Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve, previously known as Lone Star Ranche, was initially established as a cattle ranch. The transition to wildlife-based land-use commenced in 1985, and over time, cattle were removed. The Malilangwe Trust purchased the ranch in 1994 and began the key objective of restoring its historic biodiversity.

 

Each species of living organism has its own specific requirements that must be satisfied if a viable population is to be maintained. The challenge of wildlife management is to meet these requirements to the best of our ability within the confines of a protected area. Our Wildlife Department is tasked with identifying imbalances and implementing mitigation actions that attempt to simulate historic controls. Focus is not only on the animals, but more importantly on the habitats they live in because these provide the food and shelter necessary for survival. Successful biodiversity conservation depends on a scientific approach to maintaining habitat diversity.

The scope of the Wildlife Management Department includes:

  • Monitoring animal populations in relation to carrying capacity (the number of organisms that an ecosystem can sustainably support).
  • Monitoring population trends through the Animal Population Management Database.
  • Restocking and reintroduction of wildlife.
  • Regulation of wildlife populations.
  • Disease management and veterinary interventions.
  • Managing bush encroachment and alien invasive plants.
  • Combatting erosion.
  • Implementing controlled fires for management burns.
  • Monitoring the health of the rivers, dams and seasonal pans, and understanding their critical function in the health of Malilangwe’s ecosystem.

Our team participates in sharing scientific research, knowledge and best practice solutions with conservation organisations worldwide.

In addition to contributing wildlife species for new populations and restocking of other protected areas in Africa, Malilangwe has successfully reintroduced several key species to the reserve, such as Lichtenstein’s hartebeest.

 

Today Malilangwe is home to a remarkable diversity of African wildlife. There are also more than 400 species of birds found here, including 14 eagle species. ⁠The Wildlife Management Department continues to foster a safe and natural environment for all species to thrive sustainably, and a careful balance has to be maintained to ensure the wider ecosystem and biodiversity is upheld.