CCF received a grant from the TUSK Trust, a UK-based charitable organization that advances innovation to protect African wildlife and habitat, to introduce Livestock Guarding Dogs (LGDs) to a new area of Namibia. Over the past year-and-a-half, CCF has placed 10 LGDs with farmers in the Opuwo district of the Kunene region, a remote, rural area in the northwestern part of the country. This area was chosen because farmers were reporting many predator issues and livestock losses.
As part of the project, the CCF ecology, livestock management, veterinarian and human wildlife conflict teams conducted site visits to five conservancies in Opuwo and held training workshops in four of them. In partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Environment and Tourism in Opuwo, the trainings educated farmers about conflict mitigation, how to better manage livestock to reduce risk, and proper handling of the LGDs.
“Gebs Nikanor with our LGD program has made several long trips to Opuws to check on the dogs, and all are doing well,” said Dr. Marker. “Gebs is monitoring 170 dogs in the field right now, which is a very big job. Fortunately, he’s very good at it. We’re so glad to have him on our team.”
Since having the dogs, the farmers in Opuwo have reported not to have killed any cheetahs in protection of their livestock. During the training visits to the Opuwo area, CCF’s team also conducted educational programs in local schools for more than 650 school learners, teaching them about conservation and wildlife appreciation.