In a concerted effort to address the escalating human-wildlife conflict in Chimanimani National Park, the MWA team recently conducted a specialized training mission for park rangers. The primary focus of the training was equipping these field operatives effective strategies to minimize conflicts between humans and wildlife.
A total of 29 rangers participated in the training, with 24 men and 5 women. The objective was to impart knowledge and skills that empower these dedicated individuals to protect both the local communities and the diverse wildlife inhabiting the park.
The core of the training revolved around innovative and humane deterrent methods to mitigate human-wildlife conflicts, particularly with elephants. A significant element of the training focused on guiding participants in the creation and application of chili blocks and chili fences. Infused with the pungent peri-peri spice, these blocks and fences act as a natural deterrent, discouraging elephants from approaching human settlements.
Additionally, the rangers were trained in the safe use of other deterrents such as fireworks and birdbangs. These non-lethal measures provide a humane way to keep elephants at a safe distance, minimizing the potential for destructive encounters.
Recently the MWA team deployed several GPS / VHF collars to the Chimanimani area to further assist the park management in monitoring and predicting where HWC is most likely to occur using advanced technology systems and alert mechanisms to inform ground operations.
Chimanimani National Park boasts a diverse range of wildlife, and finding ways for humans and animals to coexist harmoniously is vital. The training mission represents a proactive step toward achieving this delicate balance, ensuring the safety of both the community and the wildlife within the park.