Tafadzwa Shumba (2015)
Alumni Diploma Students
I grew up in Mataga a small growth point in Zimbabwe’s midlands province.
I completed my BSc in Forest Resources and Wildlife Management at the National University of Science and Technology, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe in 2013. From the time I was doing my Degree up to now, I can say my profession has been circling around research and conservation of African wild dogs (painted dogs as we call them), first with Painted Dog Conservation and later with Painted Dog Research Trust. Our work is mainly focused on ecological research that seeks to establish the precise status and distribution of African wild dogs in Zimbabwe as well as understanding the threats to their survival in the regions which they occur. These include some of the obvious ones habitat fragmentation, habitat loss, deforestation, road kills, snaring and some less predictable threats such as parasites, genetic viability, stress, parasites and the cascading effects from the high elephant populations.
I have been mainly involved in data collection for the project and population monitoring, through the use of photographs and opportunistic sightings. I have participated in one regional action plan and conservation strategy for the African wild dog and have represented the organization and the country at different capacities for the conservation of African wild dogs. I have also compiled short educational books for bat and amphibian biology and conservation for the Kids for Science program
Attending the Postgraduate Diploma, I want my capacity to do research to be greatly enhanced so that I can effectively contribute to the conservation carnivores in Zimbabwe. I also see the Diploma as stepping stone for my aspirations to undertake a Masters Degree afterwards.