Supporting Village Scout Anti-poaching Work in South Luangwa, Zambia
In addition to the anti-snaring teams, SLCS scouts are also being trained by one of our partners, the Zambian Carnivore Program in field research and data collection techniques. While the direct and immediate benefits of anti-poaching work to wildlife conservation are obvious, one lesser recognized conservation benefit not typically associated with these activities is their contribution to wildlife research. Scout patrols cover immense areas of remote and road less land throughout the year, recording wildlife sightings, documenting animal carcasses, and detailing poaching activity in addition to conducting law enforcement work. Data from sightings, the location of snares and poached animals, as well as biological samples from carcasses and from animals immobilized for snare removal can all provide invaluable data on a species’ presence, distribution, disease exposure, genetics, diet, movements and migratory patterns to name just a few uses. All of this information can then be incorporated into evaluations of a species’ dynamics, threats to its survival, and areas of high risk and conservation value. In recognition of this SLCS has increasingly teamed with the Zambian Carnivore Program to enhance collaboration and coordination in anti-poaching and wildlife research to benefit conservation.