Awareness and Insights

Increasing the awareness of the detrimental effects of the illegal wildlife crime in Zambia

The Awareness Programme was formally established with the goal of taking the message of wildlife crime prevention to the people in Zambia through awareness campaigns. 

Current projects include the Bushmeat Awareness Campaign.

The illegal bushmeat trade is probably the single greatest threat to wildlife in Zambia. Bushmeat poaching has reduced prey populations significantly, even in protected areas.
Illegal hunting in Zambia is driven by a diverse mix of suppliers and consumers and forms a massive informal, unregulated, illegal industry that is primarily preference based. WCP is thus creating an awareness campaign to educate the public in Zambia about the negative impacts of consuming bushmeat sourced from poachers. This campaign aims to disrupt the social norms surrounding the consumption of illegal bushmeat and reverse this ingrained social attitude reducing the negative effects of the bushmeat trade on Zambia’s wildlife.
The bushmeat awareness campaign is funded by the Wildlife Conservation Network’s Lion Recovery Fund. Awareness core costs are funded by The Wildcat Foundation.

Insights into the scale the trends, patterns and drivers of the illegal wildlife trade in Zambia

In Zambia, as with several other countries, there is growing evidence of targeted poaching of lions for skins and other body parts—in addition to an increasingly severe threat to leopards associated with poaching for their skins. This project aims to improve the conservation of big cats by gaining a better understanding of the spatial patterns, scale and drivers of the illegal trade of lion, leopard and cheetah skins in Zambia.

WCP is undertaking an investigation to identify the trade route of big cat skins, the methods of killing and trafficking and where the products end up. In addition, WCP will also develop a DNA database which will allow law enforcement authorities use confiscated big cat parts, to determine both what species of cat it is and which protected area system it came from. This information will then be used to inform law enforcement strategy to better tackle this rapidly growing threat. This project will be conducted in partnership with Zambia Carnivore Programme.

This study is funded by the Wildlife Conservation Network’s Lion Recovery Fund.