The Zambian Carnivore Programme (ZCP) is a field-based organisation dedicated to conserving large carnivores (African wild dog, cheetah, lion, leopard, hyaena) and ecosystems in Zambia and the broader region. ZCP achieves its impact through four pillars of work:
- Conservation Science
- Conservation Action
- Conservation Leadership
Through a year-round presence in the field across Zambia’s most critical ecosystems, ZCP conducts intensive work on carnivore populations and the threats they face, builds the capacity of local conservation leadership, and works closely with partners to develop and adapt conservation management and policy to a complex and ever-changing ground reality.
Since its founding in 1998, ZCP has become an essential partner to a diverse array of local, national, and international organizations and institutions, who rely on ZCP’s rigorous and adaptive science-based approach to guide conservation strategies and action. The study ecosystems hold some of the greatest diversity and abundance of African wildlife in the region and span a variety of management regimes, from strictly protected to multiple use, to communally owned and private lands.
ZCP currently works in five key ecosystems across seven national parks, seven Game Management Areas, and parts of three Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs). All told, ZCP covers the majority of Zambia’s large carnivore populations across 37,000 km2.
As a long-term beneficiary of Elephant Charge, ZCP has used these generous funds over the years to support field-based protection from snaring impacts. When a snared animal is detected, a field-based Zambian vet team rapidly responds and treats the snared animal, resulting in an extremely high recovery rate for most animals once treated.
Additionally, EC funds have supported three ongoing Conservation Leadership programmes: Conservation Biologist Training Programme, Women in Wildlife Conservation Training Programme, and Wildlife Veterinary Training Programme. These field-based training programmes ensure the sustainability of science-based conservation through local leadership and equip young Zambian conservation leaders with practical field experience in all aspects of conservation biology.
Further, EC funds have supported the expansion of the educational programming with Conservation Clubs at all three of the field sites – Luangwa Valley, Greater Kafue Ecosystem and Greater Liuwa Ecosystem. This initiative provides students with skills and experience for advanced education by exposing them to adventure-based learning, wherein students conduct their own scientific research honing their skills in computer literacy, technology, critical thinking, writing and public speaking.