Situated just south of the Sahara Desert and above the fertile rainforest regions, the Greater Zakouma Ecosystem is positioned to be the foremost safe haven for Central and West African wildlife.
The Greater Zakouma Ecosystem covers an expansive 30,693 km2, of which 7,692 km2 includes Zakouma National Park (3,049 km2) and Siniaka Mania Faunal Reserve (4,643 km2). Both of these protected areas fall under the direct management of African Parks. This ecosystem, which is situated just south of the Sahara Desert and above the fertile rainforest regions, comprises of critical conservation areas for key species in Central Africa. The total area impacted by the expanded management agreement also includes Bahr-Salamat (13,000 km2) and adjoining wildlife corridors (10,000 km2).
African Parks has managed Zakouma National Park since 2010, and as a result of our achievements there, the Government of Chad extended our mandate in October of 2017 to assume management of a much larger landscape, securing vital habitats beyond the national park for the benefit of local communities and wildlife.
Zakouma National Park has become a safe haven for Central and West African wildlife including Kordofan giraffe, of which 50% of this entire subspecies lives within Zakouma. 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.
With security having been restored and wildlife rebounding, Zakouma is now a coveted tourism destination to the benefit of adjacent communities whose livelihoods have improved considerably. Zakouma is one of the most inspirational and surprising conservation success stories to come out of Africa. Building on this success, African Parks assumed management of the Greater Zakouma Ecosystem in partnership with the Chadian Government in 2017, almost doubling our conservation footprint in the country.
We plan to improve the educational curriculum and expand our Elephant and Secko school programme in Zakouma National Park to address the challenge of a dispersed local population. The reintroduction of black rhino and the creation of an elephant corridor beyond the park are priority conservation projects that are already under planning and investigation.
Zakouma National Park is managed in partnership between African Parks and the Chadian government. The Chadian government and the European Union approached African Parks in 2010 to take on the management responsibility of Zakouma in order to put an end to the ongoing scourge of elephant poaching. The mandate agreement was signed in June 2010 and African Parks commenced management of the park and periphery in the October of the same year.Partners
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