South Luangwa, an area rich in wildlife, is Zambia’s National Park. Increased tourism has brought a large service industry to the area. Unfortunately this has resulted in a significant increase in the bush meat trade - the use of native, often protected species as food.
This project is an anti-poaching campaign within the South Luangwa National Park to reduce the illegal snaring and shooting of animals for the bush meat trade. Many of the targeted species in this trade, such as buffalo, elephant, hippo and small antelope are important to the ecology and economics of Zambia. The bush trade affects not only these animals, but many species from neighbouring countries. Chimpanzees are also impacted, as snares trap indiscriminately. These snares are extremely painful and cause great anxiety, so their use is an issue of animal welfare as well as of conservation.
The South Luangwa Conservation Society (SLCS) began as a body of people that could respond quickly to the poaching incidents that were increasing beyond the Zambia Wildlife Authority’s capacity. Initially funded by safari operators and lodge owners, in 2003 they were named SLCS and became part of the Zambia Wildlife Authority, giving the response group more power and protection.