Mission: To conserve the land, cultures and wildlife of Namibia and rescue species threatened by an ever-shrinking habitat.
Species: Cheetah, leopard and brown hyena
Support started: 2012
Donating: £4,984 to help purchase research equipment, such as camera traps, binoculars and radio telemetry collars to study Namibian carnivores and work to reduce human-carnivore conflict.
Find out more about our work with this project through our annual report:
Background: Namibia is one of the few places in Africa where 6 species of large carnivores occur; leopard, cheetah, lion, wild dog, brown and spotted hyena. Almost one third of the world’s cheetah population lives in central Namibia; 77% of which live in unprotected areas, which is where most leopards in Namibia also reside. These predators are often targeted and killed by farmers who perceive them to be a threat to their livestock, even though they cause relatively little damage. Research currently indicates that cheetahs are responsible for 3% of livestock losses, but even with this information many landowners still see cheetahs as a problem animal. They have been live-trapped and removed in parts of Namibia in the past, by landowners to protect their livestock, although increased conservation and education has seen these types of removal decline.
Commercial farmland has a crucial role to play in the sustainable management and conservation of Namibia's wildlife, so there is a great need to improve conflict mitigation measures. N/a'an Ku sê is one of the few projects dealing with cheetah-farmer conflict on commercial farmland. The project has 2 main aims, firstly to solve and reduce human-wildlife conflicts. This will be done by researching densities, ranges and territories of cheetahs, leopard and brown hyenas on farmland, and assisting farmers with their livestock management practices so as to reduce future incidents of stock depredation, and thus decrease the motivation to persecute free-ranging large carnivores on their properties. Protective measures include effective fencing, guardian animals, bio-boundary repellents and herders.
Secondly the project wants to assess whether translocation and relocation is a suitable long-term solution in dealing with problem carnivores. When a problem carnivore is reported, and if it has to be relocated if there are no other options, then it is trapped and fitted with a GPS collar for monitoring. Farmers are informed of the detailed movements of tagged large predators in order to adjust their local livestock husbandry accordingly. In certain cases, the confirmed livestock raider is moved to an alternative conservation area. All animals are subsequently monitored intensively to document their movements, involvement in livestock predation, reproductive success and many other ecological parameters.
Since 2008, N/a'an Ku sê have prevented a significant number of carnivore persecutions by working with farmers to protect their livestock, while simultaneously conserving Namibia’s majestic wildlife in their current ranges. To date, they have responded to 698 human-carnivore conflict calls from landowners, attended 137 in person carnivore conflict situations and collared 84 carnivores. The project impact area has increased from 8% of Namibian commercial farmland in 2008, to 60% in 2016. The number of requests for support is also growing 15 – 20% per year.
Through this project, N/a'an Ku sê are able to dramatically change attitudes of Namibian landowners towards free-roaming large carnivores and significantly reduce levels of persecutions in order to sustain healthy populations in their natural habitat.
Future objectives: N/a'an ku sê will continue with carnivore conflict mitigation work looking at sustainable approaches for livestock and large carnivore management. They will also continue to rehabilitate perceived problem carnivores into their natural habitat, relocating and monitoring those predators fitted with GPS collars. They will evaluate the efficacy of large carnivore translocations as an applied, non-lethal conflict mitigation tool.
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