Camera Deployment; Plus an Unexpected Elephant Encounter

Lioness, photographed by trail camera in Hobatere.

An important part limiting human-lion conflict is knowing which lions are using which areas. As communal farmers return to dry season grazing areas of eastern Ehi-rovipuka, the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT) is taking the lead on ensuring lions inhabiting the Hobatere tourism concession are not endangering pastoralists’ livelihoods. In partnership with the Lion Rangers, MEFT is overseeing an intensive trail camera deployment in Hobatere. This not only provides movement and demographic information on lions and other species, but helps MEFT and Lion Rangers assess which lions are using the area, and with what frequency.

During the last week of July, 79 trail cameras have been deployed within Hobatere. Under the direction of MEFT-Directorate of Scientific Services and Etosha National Park supervisors, this deployment is part of an important emphasis on ensuring lion monitoring and human-lion conflict management is driven by scientific monitoring. Building on the strength of previous camera deployments this is also providing a more comprehensive picture of lions across Kunene. The cameras, V7 Poacher Cams, were manufactured by Panthera. Funding for the cameras comes from the Community Conservation Fund of Namibia. Below are some initial images from camera deployment.

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While deploying cameras, the team was informed of an elephant suffering from a snare, set along the Hobatere fenceline. This snare had become affixed to the elephants rear, left leg. Following a morning of monitoring, MEFT Etosha availed its veterinarian, Dr. Axel Hartmann. Working with the Lion Rangers and MEFT-DSS staff, the elephant was safely immobilized, the snare removed, and antiseptic applied to the wound. Subsequent reports indicate the elephant is recovering well. Thanks to the Hobatere Lodge staff for alerting MEFT to this urgent need.

Elephant immobilized for successful snare removal, Hobatere Concession.

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