FROM CATTLE RANCHING TO WILDLIFE CONSERVANCIES: FIXING AN AGRO-ECOLOGICAL MISMATCH IN THE SOUTH-EAST LOWVELD OF ZIMBABWE

Tanyaradzwa Chigonda

Abstract


Following an increase in incidences of severe droughts in the south-east lowveld and other arid regions of the country since the mid-1980s, many large-scale commercial farmers have shifted from cattle ranching to wildlife production. This study assesses the ecological success of the change in landuse from cattle ranging to wildlife production in the south-east lowveld of Zimbabwe with a special focus on Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve. The study also examines the threats to the establishment of wildlife production and management activities in the study area and other similarly arid areas in the country. The study mainly relied on document analysis, interviews and observation for the collection of relevant data. The study revealed a successful ecological establishment of Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve evidenced by an increase in both faunal and floral wildlife since its establishment in 1994. The adoption of the Fast Track Land Reform Programme by government since 2000 has been identified as the major threat to the further growth and expansion of the wildlife sector in Zimbabwe, since many game farms and conservancies have also been earmarked for resettlement. Most of the households that have been resettled in the wildlife producing areas are practicing crop and livestock production, which apparently do not match with the agro-ecological conditions of these areas. There is need for a reassessment of the land reform programme in the wildlife producing regions of the country towards the exclusive establishment of game farms and conservancies, as these are the most suitable landuse activities in these arid areas.

 

Article visualizations:

Hit counter

DOI

Keywords


wildlife ranching, cattle ranching, conservancies, south-east lowveld, aridity, agro-ecological suitability, fast-track land reform programme

Full Text:

PDF

References


Bond, I. and Cumming, D. H. M. 2006. Wildlife research and development. In Rukuni, M., Tawonezvi, P. and Eicher, C. (eds.) Zimbabwe’ agricultural revolution revisited. University of Zimbabwe Publications, Harare.

Child, B. 2009. Game ranching in Zimbabwe. In Suich, H. and Child, B. with Spenceley, A. (Eds.) Evolution and innovation in wildlife conservation. Earthscan, London.

Clegg, B. W. 2008. Operational framework for the Malilangwe wildlife department: where do we go from here? Internal Management Report for the Malilangwe Trust.

Clegg, B. W. 2010a. Habitat and diet selection by the African elephant at the landscape level: a functional integration of multi-scale foraging processes. Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.

Clegg, B. W. 2010b. Tree loss in the sandveld communities of Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve between 2008 and 2010. Internal Management Report for the Malilangwe Trust.

Clegg, B. W. 2013. Large mammal population estimates for Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve. Internal Management Report for the Malilangwe Trust.

Clegg, B. W. and O’Connor, T. G. 2012. The vegetation of Malilangwe wildlife reserve, south eastern Zimbabwe. African Journal of Range and Forage Science, 29(3): 109-131.

Duffy, R. 2000. Killing for conservation: wildlife policy in Zimbabwe. Weaver Press, Harare.

Feresu, B. (Ed.). 2010. Zimbabwe environment outlook: our environment, everybody’s responsibility. Zimbabwe’s third state of the environment report. Government of Zimbabwe, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Management, Harare.

Lindsey, P., du Toit, R., Pole, A. and Romanach, S. 2009. Save Valley: a large scale African experiment in cooperative wildlife management. In Suich, H. and Child, B. with Spenceley, A. (eds.) Evolution and innovation in wildlife conservation. Earthscan, London.

Wolmer, W., Chaumba, J. and Scoones, I. 2004. Wildlife management and land reform in south-eastern Zimbabwe: a compatible pairing or a contradiction in terms? Geoforum 35: 87-98.




Copyright (c) 2018 Tanyaradzwa Chigonda

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

The research works published in this journal are free to be accessed. They can be shared (copied and redistributed in any medium or format) and\or adapted (remixed, transformed, and built upon the material for any purpose, commercially and\or not commercially) under the following terms: attribution (appropriate credit must be given indicating original authors, research work name and publication name mentioning if changes were made) and without adding additional restrictions (without restricting others from doing anything the actual license permits). Authors retain the full copyright of their published research works and cannot revoke these freedoms as long as the license terms are followed.

Copyright © 2015 - 2018. European Journal Of Social Sciences Studies (ISSN 2501-8590) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library. All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms. All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and standards formulated by Budapest Open Access Initiative (2002), the Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing (2003) and  Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities (2003) and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Copyrights of the published research works are retained by authors.


 

Hit counter