Sir Peter Scott Fund project: Lubombo Spine Wildlife Corridor, Swaziland
Objectives and background
- To carry out bush clearance and fencing (Phase One) which will contribute to the creation of the Lubombo Spine Wildlife Corridor. This corridor will allow elephants and other wildlife to follow natural migration routes once again.
With the reduction in space for elephants and other wildlife as a result of human settlements and agriculture, and the subsequent fragmentation of suitable habitats, the creation of wildlife corridors becomes of paramount importance to conservation efforts. Wildlife corridors allow connectivity between previously isolated ecosystems, link conservation areas, and enable wildlife to migrate freely between different habitats, thus enhancing population viability and biodiversity in the connected areas.
The aim of this project, funded by the Sir Peter Scott Fund/Kate Sanderson bequest and coordinated by Space For Elephants (www.space4elephants.org), is to establish Phase One towards the final objective of The Lubombo Spine Corridor. This will link the Swaziland TFCA (Trans Frontier Conservation Area) with the iSimangoliso (formerly Greater St Lucia) Wetland Park, a World Heritage Site, through Pongola Game Reserve and Mkuze Game Reserve, including Senekal private land and Nkosi Myeni traditional authority.
This concept has the approval of all the relevant authorities. Consultation has taken place with the edge communities (Nkosi Myeni Traditional Authority) and other land-owners. This community has agreed to add a substantial area of their land to increase the size of the corridor for Elephant and Rhino range expansion. A land-owner adjacent to the corridor, Keith Stannard, has ceded his adjoining land to be included into the PongolaPoort Nature Reserve, part of the corridor.
When Phase One of the Lubombo Spine project is complete, some 65 elephants and 15 black rhino will be roaming a newly established well-secured and monitored habitat for endangered species protection, supported by the edge communities.