This post was broadcasted from Cheetah Conservation Fund Canada.
Balancing Livestock and Wildlife for a Sustainable Ecological and Economic Future
A key challenge in the rural areas of Namibia is building capacity to address human-wildlife conflict. CCF has identified multiple landscapes in central-northern and central-eastern Namibia as needing an urgent focus for science-based solutions towards human wildlife conflict (HWC) mitigation.
Major focal regions include the Greater Waterberg Landscape, the Gobabis landscape, and vast tracts of communal lands in eastern Namibia’s Kalahari ecosystem. In Namibia, 80 per cent of wildlife is found outside of protected areas, however in some areas like the eastern communal areas, the absence of wildlife puts species like wild dogs, cheetahs and leopards at risk as they prey on livestock. One of the key challenges in these rural areas is addressing human-carnivore conflict. Cheetahs and other predators, including leopard, African wild dog, brown hyena and jackal live in large home ranges on livestock farmlands.
In an effort to reverse the situation, a research-based solution that engages the community is needed. To that end, B2Gold, a Canadian gold mining company with presence in Namibia, has committed $50,000 to support conservation research and outreach programmes for communities that live with carnivores.
We are excited to be embarking on this project with B2Gold, a trusted partner for 6 years and a very good friend to the cheetah. Because of B2Gold, CCF can provide local farmers with the support they need to manage their livestock and control predation, which will contribute to long-term survival of cheetah, African wild dogs and other carnivores that share our landscape.
– Dr. Laurie Marker, Founder and Executive Director CCF
With B2Gold’s support, CCF will develop an extensive research project in the area to assess the key strategies and approaches for reducing human-carnivore conflict. The research will inform the conservation action, which will be aimed at improving rangeland, livestock and wildlife management, to reduce loss of livestock on open farmlands, and restore habitat.
Dr. Bogdan Cristescu, a new hire at CCF, is a conservation ecologist whose work in wildlife movement behavior, resource selection, animal space use, and HWC mitigation on 3 continents will provide the support needed to establish a wildlife ecology and HWC mitigation framework strategy that will serve as road map for the next few years.
B2Gold is an important partner in our efforts towards wildlife conservation while ensuring that communities living alongside are provided the tools to improve their livelihood. CCF recognizes B2Gold’s dedication to innovative conservation and we value their support and leadership.
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