South Sudan is a complex African nation, war-torn for many years. Despite the ravages of war, the country is home to expansive, intact habitats – but the wildlife populations are typically low; our focus is on helping these areas to recover, while mitigating other burgeoning threats.
The country’s ongoing conflict, lack of basic infrastructure and severe economic hardships expose its landscape to unregulated resource extraction. Effective protected area management, including community engagement, and ongoing biodiversity monitoring are needed to support the future of South Sudan’s biodiversity, and the livelihoods of its people.
What wildlife does South Sudan support?
South Sudan has set aside six national parks and ten game reserves, where much of its spectacular wildlife can be seen – from giraffe and bongo to lion and African wild dog.
Southern National Park, one of our key focus areas for conservation in South Sudan, is an expansive habitat with huge potential for species recovery, not least for wild dogs, hyena, lion, leopard, elephants, giant eland and Temminck’s pangolin.
Community Wildlife Ambassadors on patrol in Bangangai Game Reserve.
Fauna & Flora’s work in South Sudan
Fauna & Flora has been working in what is now South Sudan since our foundation in 1903, when concern for the future of the area’s wildlife provided the catalyst for the founding of our organisation. Since then, we have gained decades of experience in navigating conservation activities in areas of conflict and post-conflict and continue to work with partners in South Sudan to protect the country’s biodiversity.
Our work centres around supporting local communities and the Ministry of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism to improve the sustainable management of natural resources, with a focus on three key protected areas – Southern National Park and Bire Kpatuos and Bangangai Game Reserves –combatting illegal wildlife trade and unsustainable resource extraction, while protecting habitats and the species living within them. Conservation here, and around the world, is most effective when we utilise local expertise, and when activities benefit the people who live there.
Our long-term vision for conservation in South Sudan is to ensure there is a network of functioning protected areas in Western Equatoria State, which will safeguard crucial habitats and the biodiversity they contain while supporting human well-being and creating opportunities for local people. Thanks to its diverse array of habitats, ability to support large, diverse wildlife populations, and contributions to ecosystem services in the region, Southern National Park is a cornerstone of this ambition and—at more than 22,000km²— arguably represents one of the most significant areas for wildlife conservation in South Sudan today.