Conserving Wildlife

project partner: Environmental Investigative Agency and Honorary Rapid Action Team Zambia
location: Zambia
funding period:2003

summary The aim of the Honorary Rangers Rapid Action Team Zambia (a.k.a. RATZ) is to provide support for an overstretched wildlife authority. Working alongside National Parks staff, RATZ supply back-up in the fight against elephant poaching and illegal snaring and fishing in and around South Luangwa National Park, Zambia.

Trade plus Aid donated 15,000 to the Environmental Investigation Agency to enable RATZ to set up a second base further inside the Park, in order to expand their activities. This donation funded a second vehicle and a boat for access in the wet season, which is the time when most of the serious poaching and snaring occurs. RATZ were able to increase their number of staff and improve training methods, which in turn is of benefit to the wider community. In an area with limited employment opportunities, RATZ only employs local people and by doing so supports a much greater body of people.

In 2003, RATZ were instrumental in arresting the poacher whose statement led to the Singapore seizure of 6.5 tonnes of ivory. And crucially, RATZ will provide EIA with information on what is happening on the ground in Zambia, as EIA anticipates a poaching increase with the news that three Southern African countries (South Africa, Botswana and Namibia) have been given the go-ahead to sell 60 tonnes of their ivory stockpiles in 2004.

Project Update Reports

To view a short film on project (July 2005) visit

For further information on EIA visit

This project is accredited to Rouse & Co and Willoughby & Partners without whose pro bono advice there would not have been the funds available to finance this project.

'In 1930, 205 million elephants lived in Africa, but today there are only about 60,000 left. The reduction of their numbers is due to habitat loss and poaching before the international trade in ivory was banned in 1989'
- EIA March 2003

Elephants crossing the Luangwa River, South Luangua National Park, Zambia Oct 2001
Copyright Mary Rice / Environmental Investigation Agency

Elephants in Tsavo National Park, Kenya.
Copyright Dave Currey / Environmental Investigation Agency

RATZ patrol preparing to set off on a snare-sweep. South Luangwa National Park, Zambia, October2001
Copyright Mary Rice / Environmental Investigation Agency