Biosphere Expeditions promotes sustainable conservation and preservation of the planet’s wildlife by forging alliances between scientists and the public. Working closely with local people and scientists, expeditions aim to benefit the local community, their society and their environment, particularly to make a difference to the survival of a particular species or habitat under threat.
In Mamili National Park, in the Caprivi Delta of Namibia and the surrounding community areas, conflict between lions, leopards, cheetahs, spotted hyenas, wild dogs and people not only endangers the survival of the animals whose numbers have declined significantly in recent years, but also threatens the lives and livelihoods of some of the most marginalised people in the developing world. There is an urgent need to find strategies to show humans and wildlife can exist together and in close proximity. The project involves:
- Purchasing and fitting GPS collars to problem animals to enable tracking, alerting and relocation of the animal if necessary
- Workshops on animal husbandry and kraal construction (predator-proof cattle holding areas)
- Purchase of solar garden lamps for use round kraals at night
Collars were purchased in August 2009 and have been fitted, and continue to be fitted to problem animals. So far, collars have been fitted to two lions, three leopards and two hyaenas, and will continue until all collars have been fitted. Some solar lamps were purchased and trialled, however, these did not perform as required and were prone to theft, so it was agreed the remaining grant would be put towards the production of an information booklet, which is currently being designed. Workshops were held from August until November, dealing with cattle kraal building, listening to the needs of the local communities and developing solutions to human-predator conflict.