We were recently called out to meet with some farmers that reported a calf missing. In the morning the workers had gone out to look for the missing calf, but were unable to find anything. By midday, the vultures circling overhead gave a better clue as to where to find the calf.
The report was that the spoor of two endangered African wild dogs had been picked up earlier in the day. The location of the spoor indicated the wild dogs had crossed the farm which implicated them in the calf’s disappearance.
We were then able to pick up a blood trail with spoor that we followed and eventually the tracks led us to the carcass of the lost calf. Unfortunately, the site had been heavily disturbed by vultures and there were no obvious spoor remaining from African wild dogs.
The calf was over nine months old, at this age calves are on the cusp of the target age group for predation by African wild dogs. They don’t often succeed in bringing a calf down that’s older than that.
CCF collaborates with the Ministry Environment Forestry and Tourism on calls about human-wildlife conflict so that they can easily get access to the data we collect. Namibia has an offset program where farmers can make a livestock loss claim to potentially gain access to funds. The information we collect helps the MEFT assess each claim.
Every June/July the Community Game Guards undergoes a midyear Event Book audit. The Event Book is a national monitoring tool for wildlife management and human-wildlife cases. An end of year audit is conducted in Jan/Feb the following year to close up the year’s data.
Each month the Community Game Guards come together and consolidate their data. This is then put together into a poster format, displayed at public areas in the conservancy for members to see.
In the field, CCF continues to provide technical assistance to game guards working with us, finessing their data collection, rectifying and mistakes and continued capacity building in data recording. With the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, CCF attends each midyear audit.