Due to climatic change, 2,500 wild animals migrate through Zimbabwe. Thousands of impalas are herded into an enclosure by a helicopter. Elephants lying on their backs are lifted onto trailers by a crane. Numerous rangers’ herd other Wild animals into metal cages before starting a procession of vehicles to transport them over 700 kilometers (435 miles) to their new habitat.
Low rainfall and recent infrastructure projects stress habitats and the creatures that depend on them in Africa’s national parks, which are home to thousands of wildlife species, including lions, elephants, and buffaloes.
Several environmental specialists claim that the conservation efforts in protected regions are being hampered by large-scale operations like oil drilling and animal grazing, as well as a lengthy drought that has devastated much of the continent’s east. Climate change has exacerbated the drought.
Since poaching has been replaced by the effects of climate change as the most significant threat to wildlife, environment has started transporting more than 2,500 wild animals from a reserve in the south to one in the north of the country to save them from drought.
One of southern Africa’s most significant live animal capture and translocation operations is moving about 400 elephants, 2,000 impalas, 70 giraffes, 50 buffaloes, 50 wildebeest, 50 zebras, 50 elands, ten lions, and a pack of 10 wild dogs from Zimbabwe’s Save Valley Conservancy to three conservancies in the north: Sapi, Matusadonha, and Chizarira.
According to Tinashe Farawo, spokesman for the Zimbabwe National Parks and Species Management Authority, the protracted drought that has dried up their habitat has made it imperative to transport wildlife.
To prevent “a calamity from happening,” the parks administration provided licenses to allow the Wild animals to be transferred, according to Farawo. “This is a pressure-relieving measure. “Climate change is the biggest threat to our species, even though we have been fighting poaching for years and are now winning that battle,” told Farawo.
Culling might be one solution to minimize the number of wild animals, although conservation organizations argue that such kills are harsh. According to Farawo, Zimbabwe stopped culling in 1987.
Not just Zimbabwe is experiencing the effects of climate change on wild animals. National parks in Africa that are home to various wildlife species, including lions, elephants, and buffaloes, are becoming increasingly at risk from below-average rainfall and new infrastructure initiatives. Authorities and scientists claim that because drought has reduced the amount of food available, species, including rhinos, giraffes, and antelope, are now gravely threatened.
For instance, a recent study in the Kruger National Park in South Africa found a correlation between extreme weather events and the extinction of plants and animals that were unable to survive the harsh conditions and a shortage of water due to prolonged dry spells and hotter temperatures.
The project, “Project Rewild Zambezi,” involves transporting the wild animals to a region in the valley of the Zambezi River to restore the wildlife populations there.
Zimbabwe hasn’t experienced such a large-scale internal wildlife movement in 60 years. Over 5,000 animals were relocated as part of “Operation Noah” between 1958 and 1964, when Rhodesia was a white minority-run nation. In that operation, animals were saved from increasing waters brought on by the construction of a massive hydroelectric dam on the Zambezi River, which resulted in Lake Kariba, one of the largest artificial lakes in the world.
Preserve the environment
According to its website, the Great Plains Foundation, a nonprofit that “works to preserve and enhance natural habitats in Africa via creative conservation programs,” supports the mass movement. According to the organization’s website, it collaborates with the Oxford University Department of Zoology, the University of Washington-Center Seattle’s for Environmental Forensic Science, the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, and local specialists.
Sapi Reserve is one of the new habitats for the animals relocated to Zimbabwe. East of Mana Pools National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its beautiful setting along the Zambezi River that serves as Zimbabwe and Zambia’s border, is the privately-run, 280,000-acre private concession.
Dereck Joubert, chief executive officer of Great Plains, stated on the foundation’s website that Sapi “is the perfect option for many reasons.”
According to Joubert, this reserve, which covers 1.6 million acres, “forms the middle-Zambezi biosphere.” “Sapi Reserve’s wildlife populations had been destroyed by decades of hunting from the 1950s until we acquired control of it in 2017. Rewilding entails returning the wild to its original state.