We are pleased to announce that National Geographic is supporting the University of Minnesota Lion Center in a monitoring project within the Ombonde River catchment area, during 2020-2021.
With the support of National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative, Dr. John Heydinger has accepted a Postdoctoral Associate position at the University of Minnesota. For the next two years Dr. Heydinger will be working closely with the Lion Rangers, IRDNC Human-Wildlife Conflict Rapid Response Teams, AfriCat North/Namibia Lion Trust, and Namibia’s Ministry of Environment and Tourism to monitor a previously unstudied subpopulation of the desert-adapted lions. The extremely rugged landscape around the Ombonde catchment serves as the core wildlife area for the Anabeb, Ehi-rovipuka, and Omatendeka conservancies, as well as the Etendeka Concession. The project objectives are to secure demographic and movement data of lions in this area, which appears to serve as a crucial source for the subpopulation, as well as a potential corridor for human-lion conflict. The goal is to better inform scientific management and conservation interventions of this population.
Watch this space for exciting updates and information as we work with our partners to forge new ways forward in community-based natural resource management of northwest Namibia’s desert-adapted lions!