Steve Pope Safaris

Semi-participatory Camping, Bushwalking, & Canoe Safaris

                Predator Research Project in the Zambezi Valley

                  The Population Dynamics and Ecology of Lion and Spotted Hyaena

in the Zambezi Valley;

their Interaction with other Large Predators,

and the influence of Human Impact.

 PROPOSER: : Ian Nyschens Zambezi Valley Conservation Trust (Steve Pope 36 Campbell Ave. Pomona) Environment Africa (Charlene Hewat), 47 Lawson Ave., Harare, Zimbabwe.



: Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Director General) Harare.

: Harvard University (Dr Patrick Sluss and Elaine J Olsen), USA.

: Ian Nyschens Zambezi Valley Conservation Trust (Mr Steve Pope), Harare.

: Painted Dog Conservation (Dr Greg Rasmussen), Hwange.

: Eco-Plan Consultancy (Chris J Lightfoot), Harare.

: Zambezi Society (Dick Pitman, Sally Wynn), Harare.

: African Lion Working Group (Dr Sarel van der Merwe, Chair,

Affiliated with IUCN/SSC Specialist Groups).

: Dept National Parks of Zambia.



A.    Species. The study species will be all large Predators – lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog and hyaena.

B.    Area of Study. The mid-Zambezi Valley, including Mana Pools National Park and the Safari Areas (Chewore, Dande, Hurungwe, Sapi) in Zimbabwe, and the Mid-Zambezi National Park in Zambia. Data will be recorded separately for each of the 6 administrative sub-areas.

C.    Time Scale: Commencing in April 2010, the study is estimated to run for 3 years.


GOAL:         To gain sufficient knowledge of the large predators in the study area to enable policy and management decisions to be made with confidence.



  1. To review the historic evidence of numbers, distribution and interactions of the 5 large predators in Mid-Zambezi.
  2. To review literature from other areas that might bear relevance to the present study.
  3. To establish present populations and trends, document predation and feeding behaviour and establish interactions the predators.
  4. To correlate population dynamics with environmental, behavioural and managerial factors in each sub-area.
  5. To recommend management strategies for the large predators in the area. 



§       An experienced post-graduate Researcher, Phillip Kuvawoga, (Senior Ecologist at Marangora) has been appointed full-time to the study. The Researcher is going to register at Harvard University for a research degree. He will be based at Mana Pools.

§       He will be seconded from ZP&WMA on full salary and perks augmented by the Project.

§       An Assistant will be appointed, probably also for a tertiary degree study.

§       All species will be studied by direct observation, telemetry and the collection of scats and samples for analysis.

§       Note on minor species: Cheetah are a small population limited as far as is known to the open areas of Mana NP. Leopard are widespread but scarce. (For these, reports from the public will be an important contribution). Wild dog are limited to certain areas, and the study of them will be supervised by the Painted Dog Group, who will be required to submit their own proposal.

§       Academic supervision of the study and analysis of samples will be provided by Harvard University.

§       A Mid-Zambezi Study Group will be formed under Environment Africa to source funds and personnel for back-up logistics and expenses.

§       ZP&WMA will be requested to permit free access and all reasonable sample removal and photography for the duration of the study. (This is in the MOU with Parks)

§       ZP&WMA will refrain from taking any potentially adverse managerial actions during the course of the study without first discussing the implications with the Study Group. 

§       ZP&WMA will make any relevant records available to the Study Group.

§       In return the Study Group will furnish the Authority with interim reports not less than biennially.             


                            Contact:            Chris LIGHTFOOT

                                            Eco-Plan Consultancy

                                            Tel +263-4-304 081 / 0912-520 470