VIDEO: Head of Kruger rangers all for shifting of eastern border

Meerkat wide area surveilllance system. Photo: Peace Parks Foundation.

SKUKUZA – The Kruger National Park’s (KNP) rangers have welcomed the shifting of the eastern border of the park.

The park was recently to all effects and purposes made 240 000 hectares bigger with the inclusion of the Greater Libombos Conservancy (GLC) into the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park (GLTP) in February, thanks to the facilitation of a treaty between South Africa and Mozambique and the work of the Peace Parks Foundation.

This incorporation of the GLC effectively moved part of the KNP’s border with Mozambique to the eastern border of the GLC.

READ more about how the eastern border is shifting

The GLTP is adjacent to the KNP. The dropping of the fences between the KNP and these areas will be under discussion by the operational committee governing the treaty.At this stage there still is a fence of 180 kilometres between the KNP and the GLC stretching from Olifants River to Crocodile Bridge. Already to the north there are fences down (for 43 kilometres) between the two parks.

VIDEO: SEE the “Meerkat” that makes Kruger and Peace Parks a formidable alliance

The GLC constitutes nine Mozambican concessions (light orange on map). For the first time privately owned areas form part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area.

Mr Nicholis Funda, head of the KNP’s ranger services, said they welcomed the groundbreaking step. “It is something that we were pushing for to happen.”

He added that was another reason to welcome the move.”We need to share experiences and methods of operation like working with Meerkat,” he concluded.

He explained that there has been a drop from 60 to 20 per cent in poaching from the Mozambican side of the KNP in recent months because of cooperation between the Kruger and the GLC.

For 2016 there were 2 883 instances of poaching-related activities and incursions into the park compared to 2 466 recorded in the same period in 2015 – an increase of 16,9 per cent.

There are now more incursions into the KNP from South Africa than from Mozambique.

“The concessions act like a filter to us,” he said.

Nicholis Funda

 

 

 

 

  AUTHOR
Elize Parker
Environmental Journalist Lowvelder

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