Baseline surveys for the potential development of a National Park & Liuwa-Mussuma TFCA

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Country – Angola

As a first step to support the creation of the Liuwa-Mussuma TFCA, our team is conducting a baseline survey on both the human and wildlife populations in the Mussuma part of the TFCA to provide vital information on wildlife status and distribution, challenges faced by the human population, co-existence, land use and natural resources utilization to inform a socio-economic profile and a draft of what could become the integrated management plan.

The survey started in 2019, where we collected information on access and conducted interviews with local and traditional authorities, as well as to the resident population in the area. These preliminary results were critical to design the camera trapping study.

After a halt in field work during 2020 due to restrictions related to COVID, the team was able to resume field work in July 2021 and, although it proved to be quite challenging mainly due to the logistics related to its remoteness, we successfully installed 94 camera trap stations within an area of about 3000 km2 that represents the main connectivity with the Liuwa plains system on the Angolan side.

The study area comprises a mix of vast seasonal floodplains and miombo-Cryptosepalum forests, intersected by the alluvial floodplains of several rivers such as the Lungué-Vungo, Lutembo and Luanguinga.

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