Incidents of poaching are set to further decrease in wildlife and forestry areas as government entities embrace tougher anti-poaching strategies.

The majority of poaching incidents occurring in wildlife and forestry areas involve foreign poachers.

In some cases the incidents involve locals who get paid by foreigners with the use of cyanide becoming more common.

Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) director general Mr Fluton Mangwanya said the radio communication systems have been improved while additional manpower and new all terrain vehicles have been deployed at the boundary shared with Tsholotsho district, where elephants are the number one target.

“So we have to scale to go into high gear in our strategy to counter this poaching. We are getting to recover some of the specialised riffles some with silencers some with scoping lenses that means it’s a serious issue. So on the part of Zimparks we have to do something urgently to be on the same scale with the way these guys are actually attacking our wildlife especially our elephants,” he said.

Forestry Commission chief security officer Mr Peter Mushunje confirmed his organisation recorded a drop in poaching incidents adding a number of strategies which include beefing up manpower, use of sniffer dogs and drones have been embraced.

“We have been trying to research on the camera system and this is what we are looking at as a way of trying to improve our operations,” he said.

Government allocated $2 million from the fiscus towards wildlife conservation and the amount is expected to further enhance security issues in wildlife areas.

Analysts believe the involvement of locals in poaching can only be reduced when they see and enjoy the benefits of wildlife, a situation which attracts them to participate in anti-poaching activities as communities.