Angola’s northern Malaje province Cangandala National Park currently has a population of 115 animals of the giant sable antelope species, including adults and calves.
Around 200 sables are registered in the Luando Integral Reserve, according to the park administrator, Victor Manuel Paca.
Paca said that the last count was carried out in 2022, as part of the species’ annual census.
The giant sable antelope project began in 2004 and Victor Manuel Paca considers the current numbers to be satisfactory.
In January 2004, a group from the Center for Studies and Scientific Research at the Catholic University of Angola, led by Pedro Vaz Pinto, obtained the first photographic evidence of the only herd remaining in the Cangandala National Park.
The team which headed to the park, located 25 km south of the capital city of Malanje province, confirmed the persistence of the population after a harsh period of war.
The repopulation of the protected sanctuary allowed the ANGOP journalists to see a herd of around 60 animals in the pasture.
In the 1960s and 1970s, the Luando Integral Reserve had around 2,500 sables, while the Cangandala National Park had 200, numbers that would drastically reduce years later due to poaching.
As for the inspection, Victor Manuel Paca said that Cangandala Park has 82 inspectors. “We are satisfied in this sense.
The biggest concern has to do with means, such as vehicles, raincoats, uniforms and boots, to improve the work of inspectors”, he said.
“The pursuit of hunters sometimes takes place over a distance of 14 kilometers. The last action of its kind was carried out in the southern part of the park and culminated in the arrest of three hunters.
We have been doing awareness raising work in the communities. We have had support from chieftains and teachers, he said.
In human terms, he said, the Luando reserve has 20 inspectors, controlled by the Technical Unit. Due to the action of poachers, he adds, the northern part of the park was the area most affected by the fires, with the devastation of 400 hectares.
“There is an effort by the Executive to maintain inspection in conservation areas, with the recruitment of former soldiers who previously undergo training in environmental matters, with a view to facilitating the repopulation of Palanca”, noted the official.
Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)