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Endangered Species Day is an occasion set aside globally for the commemoraThe tion of various animals which appear on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red list and are in danger of becoming extinct if stern conservation measures are not implemented.
Observations of the day are done annually every Third Friday of May with this year’s observance slated for Friday 18 May.
Zimbabwe has rich biodiversity and, as a signatory to the Convention of Biological Diversity, it is Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority’s (ZimParks) mandate to continue promoting a suitable environment that supports biodiversity.
In Zimbabwe, the following animals are considered as specially protected species by the Parks and Wildlife Management Act’s Sixth Schedule; pangolin, roan, gemsbok, liechtenstein’s hartebeest, cheetah, python, black rhino, aardwolf, bat eared fox and painted dogs.
Specially Protected Animals

Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus)

Pangolin (Manis temmincki)


Painted dog (Lycaon pictus)

Aardwolf (Proteles cristatus)


In addition to legal protection, conservation efforts in Zimbabwe also focus on community engagement and education to promote coexistence between people and wildlife. By raising awareness about the importance of these specially protected animals and the role they play in the ecosystem, the hope is that their populations can recover and thrive in the wild for generations to come.

Gemsbok (Oryx gazella)

Roan (Hippotragus equinus)


Bat eared fox(Otocyon megalotis)

Lichtensteinʼs Hartbeest
(Alcelaphus Lichtensteini)

Square-lipped Rhino
(Ceratotherium simum)

Black Rhinoceros
(Diceros bicornis)

      Python (Python sebae)

These species are all facing threats from habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict,
poaching, and their protection is crucial for their survival.       
Elsewhere in Africa, elephants are an endangered species. However, due to Zimbabwe’s robust conservation efforts, the country now boasts an elephant population which exceeds 100,000.
Avian species such as vultures, cranes, storks, flamingos, bateleur eagle and the secretary bird have special protected status in the country.
The threat not only extends to wild animals but also flora, with cycads, aloes and warbugia salutaris being illegally harvested.
Challenges often faced by endangered species are illegal trade, tracking and poaching, habitat loss from human encroachment into protected areas and deforestation.
Various efforts have been made to protect these endangered species in Zimbabwe, such as habitat protection, anti-poaching patrols, community engagement on the plight of endangered species and raising awareness of the importance of biodiversity conservation.
The National Prosecuting Authority recently announced plans to forfeit assets acquired from illegal wildlife trade. This move bolsters efforts to protect endangered species in Zimbabwe.

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