Urban wildlife Project

Malawi is one of the most densely populated countries in Africa. The capital, Lilongwe city has a good network of green spaces, wetlands and river corridors, supporting species including spotted hyaena (Crocuta crocuta) and serval (Leptilaurus serval).

Urban ecosystems can serve as models for understanding and mitigating the effects of global environmental change and they can also help predict and potentially mitigate the effects of future urban expansion.

Conserving urban biodiversity has unique implications for human well-being, public health, and for making citizens aware of the importance of biodiversity conservation, as the majority of people globally will experience “nature” and related ecosystem services primarily within an urban environment.

Through our new project, the Urban Wildlife Project, we want to assess the behavioural ecology of focal species to inform human-wildlife conflict (HWC) management and promote human wildlife coexistence.

This project bridges CRM and our partner project, African Bat Conservation (ABC) and is based in the Lilongwe city and surrounding areas.

Focal species and main HWC:

Genet (Genetta genetta) - occupying houses and consume livestock
Serval (Leptilaurus serval) – generating fear and eating poultry
Jackal (Canis adustus) – generating fear and eating poultry
Hyaena (Crocuta crocuta) - generating fear and eating livestock
Bats - generating fear and disturbing property owners


1. Increased understanding - of the distribution and patterns of, and threats to urban biodiversity

2. Reduced human-wildlife conflict - providing solutions and practical advice for mitigation - long-term change benefiting local communities to reduce impacts of wildlife on their safety and livelihoods

3. Reduced wildlife persecution - long-term benefit for biodiversity in Lilongwe, and the wider ecosystems, and local communities of Lilongwe through increased human well-being

4. Increased capacity and support for urban biodiversity management - for Government and NGOs through long-term benefit

5. Increased awareness - of the importance of urban biodiversity and sustainable management, by connecting people with nature and promoting sustainable management

6. Identification of areas of importance - for biodiversity and ecosystem services in Lilongwe

7. Increased natural and socio-cultural capital - by promoting coexistence between wildlife and people in urban environments

8. Production of practical guides and solutions - for human-wildlife conflict issues

9. Contribute to goals outlined in the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan for Malawi -
a) Conservation of protected areas, and species and restoration of degraded habitats and species;
b) Enhancing the biodiversity knowledge base and strengthening human capacity
c) Enhancing community understanding and appreciation of biodiversity, and supporting community action




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