Luangwa Valley Ecosystem


The Luangwa and Mid-Zambezi Valley ecosystems cover an unfenced and relatively undisturbed wilderness area of over 70,000 km2. This vast expanse contains the largest lion population in Zambia and the second largest wild dog population. ZCP focuses heavily on these two species, as well as researching the relationship between carnivore species and predator-prey interactions. In this region, lions and leopards have significant importance for tourism operators, and thus accurate data on these populations is vitally important to guide management decisions.

Eastern Zambia has one of the most significant populations of wild dogs in Africa, especially because of its potential for providing connectivity between Eastern and Southern African wild dog populations. As the oldest field site and organization headquarters, ZCP research, conservation, and education programs are most developed in the Luangwa Valley, with long-standing partnerships in place with local non-profits.

Together with the Conservation South Luangwa (CSL) formerly  South Luangwa Conservation Society (SLCS), ZCP co-owns a Cessna 180 aircraft for use in joint anti-poaching and aerial tracking operations. The two organizations also co-employ a veterinarian who conducts all immobilizations for de-snaring and radio-collaring purposes and runs the CSL-ZCP Veterinary Clinic for domestic animals.

Through the Conservation Club at Mfuwe Day Secondary School, ZCP and Chipembele Wildlife Conservation CapacityTrust (CWET) have trained dozens of students on fieldwork methodology and ecological concepts, with many students choosing to further their involvement in the sciences by pursuing university degrees and/or seeking employment in the biological conservation sector, often with ZCP.