WILDLIFE RESEARCH

We believe that wildlife research and monitoring is critical to effective conservation

Malawi has an incredible diversity of wildlife and habitats but is facing huge threats, from wildlife crime and human-wildlife conflict to deforestation and habitat loss. On top of this, there is a significant gap in knowledge on the ecology, genetics and conservation status of many of the country’s threatened and endangered species. Our wildlife research programme aims to help fill this gap.

 

Our mission

Our mission is to provide long-term monitoring programmes, coupled with applied conservation research, to inform, guide and evaluate conservation efforts in Malawi. We collaborate with individual researchers and students as well as local and international governments, organisations and institutions to deliver long-term ecological monitoring, applied conservation research and capacity building initiatives.

 

Our areas of focus

Much of our research takes an interdisciplinary approach that combines epidemiology, species population management and behavioural ecology. Our research themes are developed to fill knowledge gaps identified through the course of our work. While our current focus is on rehabilitation, epidemiology, behavioural ecology and population management we are happy to facilitate other types of wildlife-based research in Malawi with a focus on species or ecosystem conservation.

If you’d like to get involved in our research projects check out the placements we offer. If you are a student interested in conducting an independent research project or fulfilling university credits as part of your studies please read through our research projects listed below then contact placements@lilongwewildlife.org to find out more.

 

Current projects


Locations

LILONGWE WILDLIFE CENTRE

The sanctuary is located within a 200-hectare reserve, which is home to wild animals such as antelopes, crocodiles, small carnivores and hyenas and over 100 species of bird. There are 6km of walking trails running through the forest and along the river, with a bar and café at the visitor centre. It’s just 10 minutes to town with its restaurants, shops and markets, so you are never too far from ‘civilisation’ if you feel like a change of scene. The team are happy to organise movies, talks and nights out.

KUTI WILDLIFE RESERVE

Kuti is a 90 minute drive from Lilongwe and a few kilometres from Lake Malawi. The reserve’s habitats are varied, with brachystegia and miombo woodland through to grasslands, wetlands and marshes. There’s diverse wildlife as a result, ranging from large mammals such as zebra, sable, kudu and giraffe through to primates and small carnivores as well as endemic species of butterflies and bats. The market town of Salima is a bike taxi ride away and Senga Bay is an easy day or overnight trip.

AND MANY OTHER POSSIBILITIES

Beyond our wildlife centre and Kuti, there are also opportunities to work at sites across Malawi, depending on the time of year and needs of the project you are working on.

These sites include a number of wildlife reserves and National Parks including:
Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve
Nyika National Park
Dzalanyama Forest Reserve
Namizimu Forest Reserve.

Publications and reports

Publications:

Winter, S., Coimbra, R.T.F., Bronec, A., Hay, C., Salb, A.L., Fennessy, J. & Janke, A. 2019. Species assignment and conservation genetics of giraffe in the Republic of Malawi. Conservation Genetics. 20: 665-670. 

Reports:

Harwood, A., Stone, E., Shevlin, K. & Hammer, M. 2018. From elephants to cats to butterflies: Monitoring biodiversity of Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve, Malawi. Biosphere Expedition Report. 74pp.

Note: employee of LWT involved in each project is bolded

Database contributions:

Hyena specialist group

African Lion Distribution