Wildlife Action Group

Wildlife Action Group (WAG), works to protect and restore Malawi's Thuma and Dedza-Salima Escarpment Forest Reserves. These protected areas are home to a diversity of species and 10% of Malawi's elephant population.

Wildlife Action Group (WAG), a Malawian non-profit conservation NGO, was created in 1996 in response to severe illegal commercial deforestation and poaching of wildlife that was going unchecked in Thuma Forest and Dedza Salima Escarpment Forest Reserve in Malawi. They strive to provide the highest level of protection for these important bio-diversity hotspots for future generations of Malawians. In 2007, the adjacent forest reserve, Dedza-Salima Escarpment, was added to the portfolio in order to manage the protection of wildlife which move freely between both reserves.

The two reserves are some of the few protected areas in Malawi which are still home to a large diversity of animals. Over 32 larger mammal species have been recorded, including elephants, the population of which in the two reserves is very significant for Malawi as it makes up approximately 10% of the country’s total population.

The forest was under relentless threat from the huge demand for charcoal, and wildlife was being decimated in the commercial bushmeat and illegal ivory trade. Wildlife populations, including elephants, were almost depleted and some had become extinct, including lion, rhino, waterbuck and leopard. Scouts have since been employed and anti-poaching patrols commenced. Their biennial mammal surveys, along with other ongoing monitoring efforts, strongly indicate a significant increase in wildlife populations, including species such as elephants, buffalo and kudu. This increase is a direct result of intensified protected area management and law enforcement, and shows the incredible potential of the two reserves. Tusk funding towards WAG’s ranger teams and other staff has been instrumental to the ongoing protection of these two forest reserves and the wildlife living therein

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