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Wildlife & Ecosystems

Tracking Predators of the African Savannah

Botswana has some of Africa’s most remote protected land. How can we protect the iconic animals that live there?


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The facts

Why the research is important

Why the research is important

Lions and leopards have begun to disappear from their habitats. Cheetah and African wild dog populations have dwindled alarmingly.

The vast protected savanna of the KAZA could be one of the few places left where threatened species can thrive.

The KAZA is a special place. For one thing, it hosts populations of predators and prey that haven’t been fragmented by urban development or other human activity, which is increasingly difficult to find in modern Africa. And this community of creatures lives in a vast expanse of nearly untouched savanna—a rarity on the continent, and in the world.

 Cheetahs display their speed.

So this is the perfect area in which to research the health of and threats to the animals that depend on this fragile ecosystem. Lions, for example, have disappeared from many regions they inhabited less than two decades ago. By studying them here in the KAZA, we can learn about factors that have likely contributed to their decline—population dynamics, disease susceptibility, genetics—in the absence of interference from human activities like trophy hunting and urbanization.

Botswana, too, is a special place for conservation research. Its policymakers have a strong commitment to protecting their wilderness, which means that the results of this research have a receptive audience. You won’t just help broaden the knowledge about these fragile species; the data you collect will translate into action.

About the research area

Kavango–Zambezi Transboundary Protected Area, Botswana, Africa

Daily life in the field

Itinerary

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The Scientists

MEET THE LEAD SCIENTIST

Anthony
Giordano
Doctoral Research Fellow and Fulbright Scholar, Texas Tech University

ABOUT Anthony Giordano

Anthony Giordano has researched predators and livestock around the world, including investigating the interrelationship of jaguar ecology, genetics and various aspects of jaguar conflict with people

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Accommodations and Food

Accommodations and Food

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