The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (PWMA) has successfully moved 223 zebras to Matusadona National Park in collaboration with conservation non-profit African Parks. This massive game relocation is in an innovative effort to rejuvenate the park's ecosystem. It is part of a long-term initiative to help Matusadona regain its ecological integrity, rerestablish the park's reputation as a top wildlife destination. It will allow Matusadona to better contribute to Zimbabwe's economy while offering long-term benefits for local communities through increasing tourism.
Matusadona had significant populations of zebras in the 1980s, but an aerial survey in 2020 found only 36. W ildlife numbers should rebound as a result of improved law enforcement and park resources, however this translocation, and others to come, will allow the National Park to recover faster. Adequate prey numbers will lead to predator recovery, which supports vulture populations, among others. The relocation will therefore have a cascading positive impact on the whole ecosystem.
Dr Fulton Mangwanya, Director-General of Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority said, “...we are taking bold measures to invest in the protection of our natural resources, which is one of the most cost-effective ways to mitigate climate change and prevent future pandemics, and importantly to ensure that the people who live around these critically needed wild areas can depend on them now, and long into the future.”