Northwest Lion Working Group Meeting, Swakopmund

Collared lioness in northwest Namibia. Photo: AJ Wattamaniuk

Conservation of northwest Namibia’s lions is more than just time in field. Management planning and policy development is critical to the successful long-term conservation of the population. The Northwest Lion Working Group (NWLWG) spearheads policy development, management decisions, and the development of field protocol and methodology for all aligned governmental, community, and NGO actors helping to conserve the lions in northwest Namibia and limit human-lion conflict. On 7 May, 2019, the NWLWG gathered in Swakopmund to review progress over the past year, plan for field activities for the rest of 2019, hear presentations from potential partners, review policy and make recommendations to the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET). This meeting was chaired by Kenneth //Uiseb, the MET Deputy Director of Scientific Services and Uakendisa Muzuma, the MET Large-Carnivore Coordinator who also chairs the NWLWG Technical Committee.

Russell Vinjevold reviews progress from the field.

Great information was shared by Russell Vinjeovold of IRDNC, who reviewed progress in the field by the Rapid Response Teams and Lion Rangers. Tami Hoth, the Director of AfriCat-North, informed the group of some crucial monitoring developments in and around the Hobatere Concession and outside the western Etosha fence. John Heydinger and Mr. Muzuma presented new policies to further align Namibia’s lion conservation efforts with international best-practices as outlined by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Cat Specialist Group, particularly the new Guidelines for the Conservation of Lions in Africa. Plans for the rest of the year include increased monitoring and conflict response, building further partnerships to support work in the field, and further policy development for sustainably managing the northwest Namibia lion population.

Thanks to Gondwana Collection for hosting the event.

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