Zingela Game Reserve is going through a remarkable process of ecological transformation. Formerly marginal farmland, the area has now been reclaimed as conservation land, and this new reserve is now playing a crucial role in the captive breeding of rare and endangered ungulates.
Over 14 million hectares of private land is under some form of wildlife protection or sustainable wildlife management in Southern Africa. This equals half the size of all state protected areas in the region, so supporting these sustainably financed areas to make the greatest contribution to biodiversity conservation has become a key goal of our work at WEI.
Zingela is an important home for brown hyena and leopard, but nothing is known about either of these species in the area. From 2016 onwards WEI will run a camera trapping programme as part of our partnership with Panthera’s Limpopo Leopard Project (LLP). To maximise the potential outputs from this work, WEI are creating a comprehensive habitat map of the reserve and developing a network of vehicle-based game transects. These will help us identify habitat preferences for key prey species and allow us to investigate correlations between predators and prey once the camera trapping work commences.