Mending Etosha (Kaross) Fence

Male lion outside the Etosha boundary.

Etosha National Park encompasses more than 22,000 sq km of north-central and northwest Namibia. Keeping the entire park’s fence in good working order is a tall task, verging on the near impossible given the sandy substrate underlying the fence. This becomes a particular problem when lions from Etosha transgress the park’s boundary, moving onto communal land and potentially causing problems for neighboring livestock farmers.

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Human-Lion Conflict, Poisoning

Desert-adapted lions, following collaring in Ombonde Research Area, May 2021.

In the late afternoon hours of 4 October, the Lion Rangers were informed by our colleagues with the Desert Lion Conservation Trust, that one of our research animals’ – OPL-1 – collar was no longer responding. The collar had not communicated satellite information for more than two days and it was feared something had happened to this male. While it is not uncommon for collars to not transmit GPS points for a day – perhaps the lion is under a tree, or resting against a cliff face – two days with no transmitted information is cause for alarm.

(Warning: link contains upsetting images.)

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Response at White Lady

White Lady Painting at Brandberg.

Even desert-adapted lions like to take in Namibia’s iconic tourism destinations. Last week a group of three desert-adapted lions made themselves comfortable directly in front of Namibia’s famous ‘White Lady’ painting at Brandberg West. The groups’ presence temporarily closed the hiking trail, just as the busiest tourist weekend in more than a year was getting under way.

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HLC in the Huab

Over the past weekend Rapid Response Team and Research Teams were in the area of the Huab responding to the close proximity of the ‘Group of Four’ to De Riet. While this group resides nearby, the lack of available prey west of the escarpment, following the good rains inland, is drawing our attention to them and other groups in the far west.

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Understanding Human-Lion Conflict

Lion Ranger program co-founders, Dr. Philip Stander and Russell Vinjevold, provide an in-depth explanation on the challenges of human-lion conflict within communal lands in northwest Namibia. Dr. Stander explains the challenges faced by local communities in arid northwest Namibia. In particular, Stander emphasizes the give-and-take between community needs and the lions’ needs following the outcomes of drought and livelihood reductions, which have been exacerbated by Covid-19.

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