Preliminary reports of the 2018 Kafue Lechwe population count on the Kafue flats indicate a critical situation for the endemic species which has recorded a decline of approximately 5,000 animals in three years.
According to surveys conducted by the Department of National Parks and Wildlife with the support of World-Wide Fund for Nature in Zambia and International Crane Foundation, the Lechwe population that stood at 28,711 in 2015 now stands at 23,306 animals.
The aim of the survey that was carried out in the second week of November 2018 was meant to determine the population of the status of large herbivores especially the Kafue Lechwe, and also some water bird species particularly the Wattled Cranes in the Lochnivar and Blue Lagoon National Park as well as the Kafue game management area.
The survey carried a total area of 5,615 encompassing the two National Parks.
Meanwhile, the report on the 2018 count of the common Hippo on the Luangwa River reveals a decline of about 800 Hippos from the previous count.