SASSCAL Angola, represented by the OADC, supported the participatory range mapping process for cheetah and wild dogs in Angola. The workshop resulted in the creation of a National Conservation Action Plan for Cheetah and Wild Dogs in Angola, a key document that will guide the future work towards the conservation of these two wide ranging species, and will consequently have bearing on their habitats and the ecosystems upon which their survival depends.
The workshop covered a broad range of issues; the main ones are as follows:
• Capacity development needs
• Knowledge and information to be generated
• Species coexistence with the human population
• Land use and the policy and legislation update and enforcement.
Generally, there is limited information on the Cheetah and African Wild Dog distribution in Angola. However, the workshop created an encouragingly positive start to filling the knowledge gap in the regional landscape occupied by these species. Prior to this workshop, the known Wild Dog resident range was confined to the southern part of the Luengue-Luiana National Park in Cuando Cubango Province and to the Bicuar National Park in Huíla. Cheetah was only known be resident in the Iona National Park and its surroundings, in Namibe Province.
After the different specialist groups working in Angola met in Quiçama (October 2016) the known range for the African Wild Dog was expanded to cover previously excluded geographical areas.
These include the Luando Reserve in Malanje province, the Mupa N.P., a wider area of private farms around Bicuar N.P and almost the whole Luengue-Luiana N.P. in the Cuando Cubango Province. In addition, new areas were defined as resident and possibly resident ranges both for Cheetah and Wild Dog, further north in the Okavango basin catchment areas in between Moxico and Bié provinces. For Cheetah, half of Luengue-Luiana N.P. was also included as resident range. (See Figure 1).
These updates to the distributions of the cheetah and African wild dog were possible due to the INBAC staff, the Park Administrators, RWCP, Panthera, the Okavango Wilderness Project and other local and foreign researchers that shared their results in the surveys carried out in Angola in the recent years. These probably represent the first surveys of their kind since the civil war started more than 40 year ago, and the findings are just unraveling the incredible wildlife hiding in this vast and diverse country, and the actions needed to protect it.