LWT’s Primate Release Programme has been running for the last seven years and has been supported by research assessing the success of each release. By conducting extensive research pre- and post-release this programme has informed ongoing primate rehabilitation, behavioural assessments and releases at both LWT and projects worldwide.

We are now expanding this concept to a variety of other species that are cared for and released by the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre, Malawi’s only wildlife sanctuary. This programme seeks to contribute to a large scientific knowledge gap by documenting the successes and failures of rehabilitation and release projects.


Wildlife rehabilitation projects are run at the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre. Releases take place year-round. Release sites and post-release monitoring are determined on a case-by-case basis.



  • Individual identification (based on age and sex classes)
  • Tracking using radio telemetry
  • Behavioural observations (social relationships, feeding, group composition, body condition etc.)
  • Data entry and GIS (using QGIS)
  • Gaining field experience


Precise activities vary based on time of year, priority and reserve requirements. For these reasons participants are not guaranteed to take part in all activities. If you have a specific interest in particular techniques or aspects of our work please contact placements@lilongwewildlife.org. Research students interested in the Wildlife Rehabilitation and Release Research programme should contact us to explore what projects are currently being undertaken and what research gaps need to be addressed. 

Research students are strongly encouraged to undertake independent research projects with this programme as there are numerous knowledge gaps we are seeking to address.



2019. The effects of rehabilitation on social bonding in vervet monkeys. Mikaela Digby. MRes, Primate Biology, Behaviour and Conservation. University of Roehampton, United Kingdom.

2019. An investigation of gastrointestinal parasite prevalence and richness in yellow baboons living in a wild and rehabilitation environment, and the relation between parasite burden and coat condition. Ilaria Malorgio. MRes, Primate Biology, Behaviour and Conservation. University of Roehampton, United Kingdom.

2019. Changes in behaviour of vervet monkeys released into Kasungu National Park and Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve. Lucy Fergusson. MRes, Primate Biology, Behaviour and Conservation. University of Roehampton, United Kingdom.

2018. Behavioural differences between a releasable and non-releasable troop of vervet monkeys: Does this affect suitability for release into the wild? Amelia Buxton. MSc Wild Animal Biology. Royal Veterinary Collage, United Kingdom.

2017. How do activity budgets differ between captive rehabilitated vervet monkeys and wild vervet monkeys? Bethany Harrison. MSc, University of West England. United Kingdom.

2016. Assessment of the release of rehabilitated vervet monkeys in Kasungu National Park. Kasper van Oort. MSc Behavioural Ecology, Utrecht University, Netherlands.

2016. Who sleeps with whom? Vervet monkey sleeping partner choice. Nika Bellchambers. MSc Behavioural Ecology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.