As many other protected areas in Mozambique, GNAP has severely suffered during the civil war times. During this period, wildlife, especially large mammals, was heavily exploited for meat by troops of all parties. Some species were completely eradicated, such as buffalo, eland, wildebeest, zebra and black rhinoceros.
Currently, the checklist of mammals of GNAP includes 68 species, including elephant, buffalo, sable, kudu, wildebeest, zebra, waterbuck and hartebeest. However, other micro and small species, mainly shrews, bats, and rodents, could be added after further research. GNAP supports leopards and hyenas but the lion population seems to be absent today. Some lion individuals have been observed over the years (last observation in 2010).
The invertebrate fauna of the GNAP is yet to be accurately classified, considering the complexity of the order and the complete lack of related literature. Several species of insects, used as food by local populations, have been identified, however, an exhaustive research on the invertebrate fauna of Gilé NR is required.
The current checklist of birds of Gilé NR accounts for 226 species*, but further species could be added thanks to specific ornithological surveys.
*The updated GNAP bird list is available here: Birds GNAP June 2023
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In order to restore the original wildlife of GNAP, three wildlife translocations have been carried out in past years:
- the first translocation concerned 20 Cape buffaloes (Syncerus caffer caffer) (16 females, 4 males), translocated in October 2012 from Marromeu National Reserve and Gorongosa National Park,
- the second translocation concerned 47 buffaloes (31 females and 16 males), 20 Nyassa wildebeests (Connochaetes taurinus johnstoni) (15 females and 5 males) and 15 Crashay’s zebras (Equus quagga crawshayi) (10 females and 5 males) translocated in October 2013 from Niassa National Reserve,
- the third translocation concerned 45 Nyassa wildebeests (33 females and 12 males) and 50 Crawshay’s zebras (26 females, 20 males and 4 not recorded) translocated in September/October 2018 from Niassa National Reserve.
Through increased park protection, improved park management and efficient communication strategies with communities, today the Gile’ National Park is experiencing an increase in wildlife numbers. Improved wildlife monitoring protocols and application of various satellite collars on target species (such as the reintroduced mammals and elephants) allow Gile’ National Park to better understand wildlife dynamics and therefore to better protect its assets.