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Park’s insect life under scrutiny

Park’s insect life under scrutiny

Park’s insect life under scrutiny
Bob Mandinyenya


A survey of insects found in the Zambezi National Park is underway with some private sector and volunteer help for ZimParks.

In June 2013, the Lion Encounter assisted the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) to undertake a vegetation field sampling exercise to classify vegetation types found within the Zambezi National Park. Four main vegetation types were identified and delineated.

These vegetation types make up the four broad habitat types in the park, within which 24 sampling plots for an entomology survey have been established. Traps are being set around these plots for the purpose of compiling an inventory of insects and a database of photographs is also being kept for the purpose of creating a field guide book for the insects found within the Park.

Over 20 insect orders and 90 insect families have since been identified and added to the inventory of the insects. Seasonal variations of insect diversity and abundance within these habitats are also being monitored and currently the survey has managed to complete monitoring during the cool-dry and hot-dry seasons.

Realising the true aesthetic scope of the Zambezi National Park requires a little more practical effort, however. During January, Lion Encounter Victoria Falls and volunteers took part in a spot of maintenance within the Park. The team picked up litter along the river and cleared illegal dump sites along some of the access roads. All the rubbish removed was taken to the council`s waste management area.

After heavy rains damaged some of the access roads, the team also assisted a maintenance exercise conducted by ZimParks. This focused on creating mitre drains to drain water from major road links within the Park. After heavy rains the Park can become inaccessible as the roads turn to mudbaths. The new drainage lines will help keep more roads open year round for visitors, research teams, and park management.

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