Translocation Away from Trouble

NPL-27; photo taken from trail camera.

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)

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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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Rapid Assessment of NW Lion Population

Cub desert-adapted lion, Ombonde Research Area.

On 10 May the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT) commissioned a rapid assessment of the status and condition of the desert-adapted lion population. Spanning the central (north-to-south) part of the desert-adapted lion range, this rapid assessment is being undertaken by staff from MEFT, Desert Lion Conservation, Namibian Lion Trust, the Lion Rangers, and Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation (IRDNC) and is being supported by Tourism Supporting Conservation (TOSCO).

Teams of Lion Rangers are currently at work in the conservancies of Anabeb, Omatendeka, Sesfontein, and Torra, as well as Etendeka Concession, assessing the body condition of as many desert-adapted lions as possible, as well as available prey and rainfall information to make proactive decisions about the lion population of northwest Namibia. This is in addition to the ongoing work of the Lion Rangers which is still underway.

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