UmPhafa Private Nature Reserve

© Colchester ZooMission:
To create a sustainable future while maintaining social responsibility and promoting environmental regeneration and conservation.

Species: White rhino, zebra, giraffe, red hartebeest, blue wildebeest, nyala, impala, common reedbuck, waterbuck, kudu, warthog, blesbok, servals, ostrich, leopard tortoises, African rock pythons, spotted hyena, leopard, black-backed jackal and caracal

Location: Colenso, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

Support started: 2005

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Background: Colchester Zoo's charity Action for the Wild is dedicated to researching and conserving animal species all over the world. One of its main priorities is to set up the UmPhafa Private Nature Reserve in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.

The reserve encompasses 6,000ha covering a 1,200 foot gradient, from the banks of the Tugela River to the top of mountains and covers a diverse range of ecosystems, including open grassland and bushveldt. Historically, approximately 35 mammalian species inhabited this area, however, due to previous farmland management techniques, many of these native species have disappeared.

Numerous species already inhabit the reserve, including kudu, impala, black-backed jackal, warthog, waterbuck and evidence of leopard and caracal have also been seen. Action for the Wild is now establishing a release programme for the reserve; to rehabilitate the land by returning the native species that have previously disappeared with farming. Action for the Wild will translocate species onto the reserve to recreate the historical mammalian assemblage and to help secure the future of these species.

© Colchester Zoo

Future objectives: Action for the Wild plans to release a variety of other species onto the reserve. In the long term potentially cheetah will be released. It is hoped that, in the future, we can breed from this charismatic species, which will change the whole perspective of the park, enabling us to breed endangered species on the reserve.


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Action for the Wild is Colchester Zoo’s charitable arm

Action for the Wild became a charity in 2004

Action for the Wild has donated over £2 million to animal conservation to date