@natgeo @stevewinterphoto @africanparksnetwork
ABUNDANCE!!!!!!! I just returned from Zakouma National Park in Chad, one of the most amazing ecosystems on the planet – I have been to so many places throughout my career @natgeo – the amazing abundance of life found here is off the charts. Zakouma is one of the parks of the groundbreaking conservation group African Parks.
Elephants that were once so fearful of people now feel safe enough to come to the park Director’s home to drink from the waterhole 10 meters away – I am in a underground hide photographing.
This is a hopeful story about the revival of a highly threatened species, as well as the trajectory of Zakouma - a park that was once ravaged by poaching and insecurity but has been transformed into a secure and flourishing park since 2010. Elephants had experienced a 95% loss from rampant poaching prior to African Parks’ involvement. Poaching drove a massive decline in the elephant population, from 4,000 individuals in 2002 to just 450 in 2010. African Parks assumed management of Zakouma in 2010, and due to effective law enforcement measures and community networks, poaching has been practically eliminated with only a few individuals being lost in the past seven years. The elephant population is finally on the rise; with over 550 individuals counted in 2016, this is the first time elephants have been on the increase in over a decade. Without the support of local communities this would not work. The local men and women are trained as guards for the anti-poaching patrols. Who knows the area and people better than the local people – then they also have secure jobs to support their families and communities!
They have jobs in other parts of the park also including tourism and management. This is truly a remarkable effort to repopulate and protect African Parks.
@AfricanParksNetwork @natgeo @stevewinterphoto
@Zakouma_National_Park @natgeocreative @natgeowild