From 26 August to 2 September, the Lion Rangers performed a special point-to-point foot patrol through the mountains of Etendeka Concession, into the Omatendeka and Ehi-rovipuka conservancies. This special patrol was supported by a group of local partners, who joined the Rangers and covered the costs of transport and food, which enabled the Rangers to get deep into the mountainous area. This important patrol enabled the Rangers to cover areas which often prove unreachable.
Lion Rangers Kavekatua Tjauira from Orupupa, Zelda Dandu from Doro !Nawas, Katukaruka Karutjaiva from Anabeb, and Kapiturue Kapi from Ehi-rovipuka, joined-together to lead this group, giving our partners a better sense of how the Lion Rangers’ patrol efforts are helping limit human-lion conflict and support community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) in northwest Namibia.
Throughout the patrol, Mathilde Brassine and John Heydinger of the Lion Rangers Leadership Team also assisted in continuing to develop the Rangers’ skills around program communication. When lions were nearby the Rangers took the opportunity to check-in on groups’ wellbeing. Monitoring revealed the lionesses OPL-4 and OPL-15 to have recently given birth in the mountains of Omatendeka.
The patrol continued from the mountains of Etendeka and Omatendeka into the core wildlife area and farming areas of Ehi-rovipuka, crossing the Ombonde River.
During the patrol the Lion Rangers identified two potential illegal hunting incidents, both of giraffe, in Ehi-rovipuka Conservancy. These were quickly reported to Namibian police and investigations are underway.
The Rangers departed the rest of the group at Hobatere Concession. The week together forged important bonds, enabled the Rangers to patrol in a difficult-to-access area, and helped communicate the importance of CBNRM across the entire core lion-range area.
Thanks to all our partners who joined on this unique patrol. Special thanks in particular to Ed Humphrey for facilitating the entire operation.