Over the first two weeks of June, conservancies across Kunene are participating in the annual Northwest Game Count. The largest road-based game count in the world, the NW Game Count brings together hundreds of conservationists to take stock of wildlife numbers. The purpose is to ensure that communal conservancies, their support organizations, and the Ministry of Environment and Tourism all the best possible information when it comes to monitoring wildlife and setting quotas.
In each participating conservancy, Conservancy Game Guards join with MET and NGO officials to retrace standardized routes marking a representative sample of conservancy environments and topography. The expertise of all involved is critical to ensuring the counts are thorough, accurate, and standardized across years. Luckily, NW Namibia now has a core of committed conservationists with a deep knowledge of the landscape and wildlife. Of course, we are always learning and each year the NW Game Count brings unexpected surprises.
A big hand for MET, IRDNC, and Namibia Nature Foundation staff for ensuring the count is operating smoothly. Thanks also to the myriad lodges and tourism organizations for volunteering vehicles and staff. Of course, none of this would be possible without the conservancies taking ownership over wildlife and leadership to ensure that species are sustainably conserved.