An important part of continuous monitoring of the desert-adapted lions is ensuring GPS/satellite collars stay up to date. Collars become damaged and batteries run low, necessitating upkeep and replacement. In partnership with the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, and with support from GEF and WWF-Namibia, the Lion Rangers have been actively re-collaring lions around the Ombonde Research Area over the past week. The purpose of these activities are both to continue ongoing research of the desert-adapted lions, as well as ensuring proactive management of human-lion conflict, which remains the number one cause of mortality for non-cub lions in northwest Namibia.Continue reading
Among the challenges for pastoralists maintaining livestock herds in northwest Namibia, is the varying forms of land-use. While pastoralists keep their herds on mixed-use land, these can abut conservation concessions. For many conservancy members farming in Ehi-rovipuka and ≠Khoadi-//Hôas conservancies, the Hobatere Tourism Concession has long served as a refuge for, and source of, lions and other large carnivores. When lions depart Hobatere for communal farmlands, they run the risk of coming into contact with livestock. This can lead to human-lion conflict, resulting in retaliatory or preventative lion killing by certain pastoralists. An important part of the Lion Rangers’ work is assisting the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT) in keeping tack of lions as they move in and out of Hobatere. At the request of MEFT the Lion Rangers Research Team has been helping monitor lion movements and group dynamics through the use of trail cameras in Hobatere. Over the past month groups of lions, including new cubs (!) were photographed within Hobatere, along with some other important images that are contributing to evidence-based conservation in the area.Continue reading
As the dry season deepens, humans, livestock, and wildlife are on the move in northwest Namibia. This potentially brings lions and other predators into contact with pastoralists in new areas. In the Ehi-rovipuka farming areas west of Hobatere Concession, farmers and their large herds of goats and sheep have recently moved back from wet season grazing areas. To limit the possibility of human-lion conflict, the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT) has prioritized replacing inactive collars within Hobatere. Two lionesses in particular, known as OPL-9 and OPL-10, are the only known lions currently inhabiting Hobatere without active GPS/satellite collars.Continue reading
The Lion Rangers and numerous other programs across Africa take each 10 August to reflect on the past year and the ongoing challenge of lion conservation. There is still much work to be done, but we believe great progress is being made. Thanks to everyone who has dedicated their lives, time, and resources, to the worthwhile venture of ensuring a future for free-ranging lions.
Above are some of our favorite recent photos of some of our favorite lions from Kunene.
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.Continue reading
Human-lion conflict challenges within the Ehi-rovipuka and ≠Khoadi-//Hôas conservancies bordering the Hobatere tourism concession necessitated a short-notice operation by the Lion Rangers in partnership with the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT). In the past few months male lions have been causing problems for communal farmers along the Hobatere fence line. With support from MEFT veterinary services and the Community Conservation Fund of Namibia, a team of Rangers and MEFT staff spent an intensive three days in Hobatere. What they found there was somewhat surprising.Continue reading
The rainy season has brought new challenges to the lions and Lion Rangers in northwest Namibia. As game have dispersed across the area, lions have followed prey species, bringing them into different areas and into contact with livestock and farmers. One particular challenge has concerned a male lion, NPL-27, first collared by the Namibian Lion Trust (NLT) in 2019. This male had been spending the majority of his time around the Okavariona-Otjiapa waterhole complex during 2021, as was made evident in numerous photos taken from our trail cameras. However, as the rainy season began other males moved into the area, seemingly pushing NPL-27 out and towards potential human-lion conflict.
(Warning: graphic content in link)Continue reading
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.Continue reading
Greetings from Lion Rangers Training! From 15 to 29 April, Lion Rangers from across Kunene came together at the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism‘s (MEFT) Waterberg Environmental Centre for bi-annual Lion Ranger training. With support from MEFT, the Community Conservation Fund of Namibia, and TOSCO, this training primarily focused on developing the Lion Rangers’ capacities in assisting law enforcement.Continue reading
Following intensive monitoring and conflict mitigation by the Lion Rangers and other project partners, the difficult decision was taken for the male lion XPL-131 to be removed from the communal areas of Puros and Sesfontein. This decision, undertaken by the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT), at the repeated request of the local communities, was not undertaken lightly, but done so in accordance with Namibian Law (No. 4/1975), prioritizing human-safety when all reasonable human-wildlife conflict mitigation options have been exhausted. The Lion Rangers, local communities, and MEFT, take the responsibility of safeguarding Namibia’s wildlife incredibly seriously.Continue reading