CHIKWAWA-(MaraviPost)-African Parks has successfully translocated four cheetahs from South Africa to Malawi’s Majete Wildlife Reserve.
Cheetahs were entirely absent from the country for over twenty years before the company undertook reintroduction to Liwonde National Park in 2017.
The development is likely to boost Malawi’s tourism sector for forex earning.
In a press statement made available to The Maravi Post, African Parks’s Chief Executive Officer Peter Fearnhead the four were carefully selected animals originating from Welgevonden, Samara and Dinokeng Game Reserves and Rietvlei Nature Reserve in South Africa were flown to Lilongwe, and made the journey by road to Majete where they were released into enclosures evening on July 25, 2019.
Fearnhead observed that cheetahs have unfortunately been eradicated from 90 percent of their historic range in Africa, and as few as 6,700 remain in the wild.
“It is projects like these that show how effective management of protected areas, political commitment and partnerships can aid in the recovery and protection of a species in decline to secure its future on the continent,” he said.
Fearnhead said cheetahs are in good health, “We expect them to do well in this environment, with habitat and prey conditions optimal and measures in place to ensure their ongoing conservation and protection.
“By bringing cheetahs back to Majete, we have achieved another important step in transforming the once-depleted ecosystem into a thriving reserve while supporting wider predator conservation efforts in the region”.
He added, “Our joint conservation efforts have overseen the implementation of an ambitious predator restoration plan in Malawi, with cheetah and lion returned to Liwonde National Park in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
“With Majete secured, wildlife in the reserve are flourishing, and not a single rhino, elephant or lion has been lost to poaching since their reintroductions. In turn, benefits are flowing to local communities through increased tourism, livelihood opportunities and socio-economic growth”.
African Parks is a non-profit conservation organisation that takes on the complete responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of national parks in partnership with governments and local communities.
Currently,manages 15 national parks and protected areas in nine countries covering 10.5 million hectares: Benin, Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, the Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Zambia.