In February, CCF launched a new base in the Eastern areas of Namibia in the Omaheke and Okakarara areas, CCF East. Both areas border one another and consist of freehold, resettled and communal farms, the livelihoods being livestock and game farming.
The Omaheke area has seen a noticeable increase in cheetah, which is an indicator of the loss of habitat of cheetah in the more central areas due to bush encroachment, a significant increase in leopard populations and the persistent drought.
With the increase of cheetah numbers in this region, human-wildlife conflict and lethal persecution of cheetah has increased. An indicator of this is the many orphaned cubs and wild trapped cheetah that have come to our centre come from that area in the past few months.
In the Okakarara communal conservancies, conflict with the critically endangered African wild dogs continues to be a concern as the species is persecuted and killed by farmers.
CCF sees this as a crisis that needs an immediate intervention and implementation of our Future Farmers of Africa (FFA) programs, and our Future Conservationists of Africa (FCA) school environmental education programs. CCF will continue to work closely with the farming communities in HWC mitigation tools, building relationships, and as well as ecological research of the carnivores being persecuted. CCF hopes to turn this persecution around and assist the farming communities with better rangeland management to better the biodiversity of the area and better the balance between wildlife and livestock farming, in turn allowing coexistence between farmers and wildlife.
Dr. Hanlie Winterbach and Nadja le Roux will be spearheading the CCF East project development, integrating into the local farming communities and implementing CCFs programs to assist farmers and wildlife alike.