Giant black palanquins now number two hundred

Of this number, 70 are under control in the Cangandala National Park and 150 in the Luando Integral Reserve, compared to 60 and 140, respectively, recorded up to March 2018.

Poaching, both commercial and for survival, remains the main threat to this species, according to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Joaquim Manuel.

He was speaking during the workshop to take stock of the activities of the Conservation Programme for this animal, carried out in 2018, an initiative of the Kissama Foundation, through the Executive Committee for monitoring and strengthening the implementation of measures to protect and conserve the Giant Black Sable, created by Presidential Order.

An inventory will be carried out next June to find out for sure the animal population concentrated in the two protected areas.

The species is currently growing at around 10 per cent, while the ideal would be 70 per cent, so that in the event of a catastrophe in the area there would be enough specimens for it to survive.

In order to curb poaching and other evils, the country needs 8,000 inspectors as opposed to the current 1,600, who are unable to cover the country’s vast protected areas.

In the case of Malanje, according to the Secretary of State, hunting is more effective in the Luando Integral Reserve than in the Cangandala National Park because these are vast areas where there is a lack of inspectors.

The insertion of new control technologies, such as drones, which can help apprehend poachers, was one of the solutions put forward by the official.

Bringing tourism to these areas in order to provide environmental education and raise awareness of the significance of the species in order to raise funds for its conservation, as well as involving the surrounding communities, who currently feel marginalised in their own conservation, are among the other challenges at hand.

The Executive Committee for Strengthening the Implementation and Conservation of the Giant Black Sable, created in December 2017 by the President of the Republic, João Lourenço, has been working to ensure that the animal’s life is monitored and informed, from the number of this species to its annual reproduction capacity.

Under the coordination of the Minister of State and Chief of Staff of the President of the Republic, the committee includes the ministers of the Environment, National Defence, Hotels and Tourism and the Interior.

Reference Angola’s Environment Ministry