Namibian Lion Trust
Why we need your help
Living alongside lions with one’s livestock as a communal farmer is never an easy option, but with the right strategies, support and good-will, co-existence with conflict wildlife is possible.
Since 1997, the Namibian Lion Trust's (formerly AfriCat North) primary activity is to mitigate Human-Wildlife Conflict, reducing livestock predation thereby minimising the need for retaliatory killing of large carnivores, especially lion. Conflict between farmer and predators is rife along the borders of the Etosha National Park. Wildlife migrates onto neighbouring farmland for a number of reasons - for lion, livestock are 'easy prey’.
Lions are also found in small yet resilient prides on a number of Communal Conservancies that stretch between Etosha NP and the Skeleton Coast Park, most populations independent of those in Etosha. These predators primarily live in allocated Exclusive Wildlife Zones, but follow the zebra, giraffe, oryx and kudu herds into the ephemeral river systems, hills and plains, where livestock are also to be found, mostly unattended and often left to graze in the field at night. Predation and subsequent conflict are unavoidable unless farmers improve on their livestock protection and management.
The Namibian Lion Trust Human-Wildlife Conflict Mitigation programmes apply practical, researched solutions to enable communities, livestock and lions (as well as other predators) to coexist. These solutions include ongoing research, fitting GPS-Satellite collars on select lion to monitor movement patterns and establish home ranges, education & awareness, predator-proof ‘boma’ building, encouraging arid-adaptive rangeland management and the employment of local Lion Guards. Data gathered from the collars provides real-time location of individuals or groups of lions in relation to settlements, livestock herds or the ‘bomas’; the Early-Warning Systems alert the Lion Guards and farmers via text messages, enabling prevention rather than retaliation. The Lion Guards form the Rapid Response teams that help reduce livestock predation and subsequent conflict. Collaring is key to mitigating human-wildlife conflict, but the costs involved are considerable. It is not only the cost of the collar which must be covered, but also the vet’s time which may involve 2-3 nights staking out a kill, the cost of the drugs and the team of staff required to assist. This means the cost of a single collaring can be more than £3,000. In addition, collars have a limited life span and need to be replaced.
The cost of living with predators, elephant and others is high, yet the Conservancy model attracts eco-Tourism which holds the key to the protection of free-ranging wildlife in a natural habitat.
However, Life now has got a whole lot tougher for all concerned. The long-lasting drought, evidence of the effects of global warming, still rages in Namibia’s northwestern regions, the locality of the Namibian Lion Trust activities; in addition, the worldwide Pandemic also contributing to matters of survival.
As livestock grazing options are now limited, most cattle especially, have died of starvation, which directly effects your ability to feed your family. Under such conditions, it is tempting, as a farmer, to allow your livestock into wildlife protected areas, if the grazing is better, despite the fact this is lion habitat and that there is a risk to your livestock from predation. However, when lion kill domestic stock, no matter the location or the circumstances, the lions’ lives are at risk.
The impact of the Pandemic has brought tourism to a standstill, which has led to a loss of jobs/income for those working in Lodges or as Guides. Additionally, Tourists will buy souvenirs made locally and that source of income has dwindled. Wildlife Protection is challenged as well, for the presence of Tourists travelling far and wide, helped to reduce bush-meat poaching especially.
Despite all the challenges, the Namibian Lion Trust team remains dedicated to the cause, they have managed to ‘stay out there’ and continue to work hard to reduce the impact that lions have on farming communities.
Your donation will make a huge difference to the team on the ground, allowing the Project to pay the Lion Guards who have taken a massive pay-cut, to continue Collaring4Conservation, and provide for transport and related operational costs. Thank you!
raised towards £7,000.00 target
How you can support us
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Andy the Cyclist
Aug 11, 2020
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Total raised so far
Total plus Gift Aid £6,258.75
Raised offline £0.00