Showing posts with label Namibia Fauna. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Namibia Fauna. Show all posts

Monday, June 25, 2012

Namibia wins international conservation award

Namibia has won the 2012 Markhor Award for Outstanding Conservation Performance in recognition of its exceptional wildlife conservation programme.
The award is the brainchild of the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation.
The prize was jointly awarded to the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and the Namibian Association of Community-Based Natural Resources Management Support Organisations (Nacso).
Through the award, the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation, “honours conservation projects that link human livelihoods with the conservation of biodiversity”.
The award is given every two years at the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biodiversity, which was adopted in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 to which Namibia is a signatory.
Namibia’s winning of the award is ascribed to its sustainable game management plan, “according to which game may be harvested for trophy hunting, live capture and sale and for distribution of meat”, a statement issued by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Namibia said.
While there is increasing evidence that global and African wildlife is declining, Namibia has shown the opposite and has grown its wildlife exponentially in communal conservancy areas since independence.
“In the north-west Kunene Region, for example, Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra numbers have grown from an estimated 1 000 in 1982 to around 27 000 today, and the population of the desert-adapted elephant has grown from around 150 to approximately 750 in the same period. Lions in Kunene have expanded in range and number from 20 in 1995 to an estimated 130 today, and Namibia has the world’s largest black rhino population,” WWF said.
The recovery of animals has been influenced by translocating large numbers of animals to communal conservancies, which was started in 1999. Through this programme, the Ministry of Environment has moved more than 8 300 head of game to conservancies.
Some of the wildlife moved include species such as black rhino, sable antelope, black faced impala and giraffe.
The director of WWF in Namibia, Chris Weaver, said Namibia’s nomination for the award is proof that “sustainable use of wildlife has been a strong catalyst to the recovery of wildlife in communal areas of Namibia, as participating conservancies have been quick to recognise that wildlife is more valuable alive than poached. As a result, poaching has become socially unacceptable”.
The International Council of Game and Wildlife Conservation said the introduction of communal conservancies in Namibia has brought about a “paradigm shift in community attitudes towards wildlife”.
Communal conservancies in Namibia have grown from four in 1998 to 76 in 2012, covering almost 19 per cent of the country.
The income from trophy hunting in the conservancies is use to pay conservancy salaries and also places many of these organisations on a sound financial footing.
Total benefits – including income from employment, in-kind benefits, and cash – to communal conservancies between 1998 and 2010 totalled N$179,3 million.
Derived from: The Namibian
By a Staff Reporter

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Namibian elephants find new home in Mexico

NINE elephants from Namibia, aged between six and ten years old, have been relocated to Mexico’s acclaimed African Safari Zoo.
For 10 months, the elephants from Namib Game Services were kept in a quarantine camp and several tests for animal diseases were conducted on the world’s largest terrestrial mammals which according to the owner, Herbert Henle, were in excellent condition.
“The elephants were tranquillised so that they could be lifted into crates and transported to the Hosea Kutako International Airport, where a Boeing 777-F of Lan Cargo in the US transported them to Mexico,” Hernle told The Namibian.
After more than 40 hours in transit, the elephants finally touched down in Mexico last weekend.
During the last count of elephants in Mexico, it was established there were only 29 of the animals left in the South American country.
Describing the relocation process, the zoo’s general director Frank Camacho said: “The rescue was a very complex operation that involved six people being in Namibia for 21 days and many months of preparation before that happened. Fortunately we were able to do it.”
The Mexican zoo was competing with other animal parks from around the world for the precious elephants. Renowned for its prized conservation and education programme, the zoo beat its competition to nab all nine mammals.
“It was very complex. There were many countries who were interested in participating in this rescue and only African Safari got it. It was a race against time, as we had to do very complex logistical operations, negotiations with the governments of Namibia and Mexico. We achieved it with will power, we got the support of an airline so we could bring this large, valuable cargo,” said the zoo officials.
Henle explained that with such a operation it is vital that the right equipment is used for the loading and transporting of the animals.
“However, we have gained some experience during the last few years with the exporting of some other game species, including rhinos and giraffes.”
The nine elephants are currently under careful observation by zoo medics after their long journey. Zoo officials hope to move the mammals to a spacious elephant enclosure in the park in the near future.
African Safari Zoo is now home to one of the largest zoo populations in Latin America and with its new additions, the zoo hopes to expand its elephant population even further.

–Additional reporting by
Derived from: The Namibia
By: Jan Poolman

Monday, May 28, 2012

Namibia's Wild Horses grow in number

AUS - The number of feral horses in the Namib Desert has been increasing and now stands at 220 horses.
The figure for the horses roaming the area around Aus settlement and Lüderitz in the Karas Region had increased from 160 in 2010 to 180 in 2011.
During the most recent count some two weeks ago, a total of 220 feral horses were observed.
Sperrgebiet National Park ranger Alex Mowa, an employee of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, provided the figures to Nampa upon enquiry on Friday.
The figure of 220, however, only accounts for the wild desert horses that were counted at Garub Waterhole, so it is not clear whether there are more animals in the plains.
Mowa told Nampa that apart from vehicles that hit and kill feral horses, as the animals frequently cross the roads in search of grazing and water, the animals’ lives are normally not in any danger, as there are no predators in the desert to hunt them.
“As a result of this, their numbers continue to rise, which is good for tourists, as these amazing animals fascinate visitors who come to our beloved country,” he said.
The ranger, who is stationed at Aus, explained that the horses are also reproducing well, especially because the area received good rains over the past two years.
“The area where the horses roam can support more than 220 horses so there is no problem with the carrying capacity. We have also not detected any signs of disease. The ones that die are those that are old when nature takes its course,” Mowa said.
The horses graze in an area covering approximately 350 square kilometres in the Namib Desert.
The actual origin of these animals is still not clear. However, speculation is that they might be descendants of horses used during the German colonial war in Namibia.
Some theories point to a ship with a cargo of horses and other domestic animals, which ran aground along the Skeleton Coast in the late 19th century, about 25 km south of the Orange River mouth – roughly 200 km from Garub.
Some feral horses might also have originated from the Schutztruppe mounts, or from those belonging to a South African Expeditionary Force that took control of the Lüderitz- Keetmanshoop line during the First World War. - Nampa

Derived from: New Era

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Namibian baby rhino beats Yellowstone grizzlies hands down

It's a fair bet that most people have heard about Yellowstone National Park, in the USA, famous for its grizzly bears. If you live near there, and want to find real adventure, you come to ..... Namibia.
That’s what Gary and Terry Trauner did with their son Aaron in April, when they witnessed the birth of a black rhino calf in the Klip River valley, near Grootberg Lodge, in the Kunene Region.
Finding rhino’s in the valley is tough at any time of the year, but that’s part of the attraction for tourists to Namibia, where endangered species have been translocated out of national parks and into communal conservancies, to roam freely as they did in the past.
In ≠Khoadi //hoas Conservancy, which owns Grootberg Lodge, rhino tracking is a top attraction. There is no guarantee of finding them, but the conservancy guides do their best, and get just as excited as the guests when they find a rhino that they have not seen for a while.
When Gary, Terry and Aaron set off, they were not sure what they would see.  They thought they knew the wild. After all, they live right next door to Yellowstone and see Moose and Grizzlies in their backyard, says Gary, but in comparison the Klip River is .... “rugged”.
The trip starts at 6am, just as the last stars are extinguished by the winter dawn. Although midday temperatures reach 38 degrees, its pretty near freezing at the start of the day. The climb down into the valley in an open Land Rover jars the bones, as the vehicle jolts through rocky river beds.
“The guides were fantastic,” says Gary. They know about the topography, how the landscape was formed, and can point out countless plant and bird species. Larger game is more a matter of luck, and on the way down the family were fortunate to see desert dwelling elephant and mountain zebra.
By 2pm the rhinos had proved elusive, and it was almost time to turn back. But the guides were not giving up. Although the walkie-talkie had packed up, the guide in the car and trackers on foot know the area so well they were able to meet at pre-arranged points, and at the last moment one of the trackers reported rhino down a side valley.
In the main valley there are sandy tracks for a vehicle. Traversing side valleys has to be done on foot. Despite the thick bush, guides and visitors pressed on, climbing the rocky valley sides for over an hour, when suddenly they caught sight of  a rhino in a wooded thicket below.
At last, it all seemed worthwhile. Indeed, after the hard trek it could hardly have been better. But then suddenly one of the trackers emerged from the bush to say he had seen a female rhino and a new-born calf on the other side of the valley. The baby was so fresh that the mother was still licking it.
“We crossed the valley gingerly,” says Gary, “and got within 50 feet of the mother and calf. We were very careful. Although the mother was preoccupied, you never know with wildlife.” But the family were close enough to take some pictures, and the trackers were able to record that the mother was a rhino called Horns, which they had not seen for four months.
The gestation period for a rhino calf is 15 months. For the family and trackers to have seen a calf just after birth, in the true wilderness of the Klip River valley, was close to a miracle. For the family who love the wild in the USA, this was something new and special.
Back home, Gary is on the board of an American NGO dedicated to the conservation of the Teton Mountains. As an environmentalist, he believes that ≠Khoadi //hoas Conservancy is doing a remarkable job. “In such a sparsely populated region, locals are sustaining wildlife through eco-tourism: that’s impressive.”
And Namibia? Gary says that he is telling everybody he meets that if you want adventure, it is the country to visit. Grootberg Lodge and ≠Khoadi //hoas Conservancy will be at the Tourism Expo from 6-9 June at the Windhoek Showgrounds, where visitors can learn more about tourism in Namibia’s communal conservancy areas.

IN THE WILD ... A Rhino, called Horns with its calf after she gave birth to it in April. An American family on a visit to the Klip River valley near Grootberg Lodge encountered the animals just after Horns gave birth to the calf.
Derived from: The Namibia
By: Steve Felton
Photo: Contributed

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Namib dunes in contention for global heritage status

Namibia has submitted the ‘Namib Sand Sea’ for nomination as a World Heritage Site.
If successfully listed as a World Heritage Site, the Namib Sand Sea would be the second in the country, after Twyfelfontein, which was declared as a World Heritage Site in 2007.
The Namibia National Commission for UNESCO has submitted the Namib Sand Sea Nomination Dossier to the World Heritage Centre.
Although the entire Namib Desert, extending over 2, 000 km from South Africa through Namibia to south-western Angola, exemplifies elements of the natural criteria worthy of inscription, their integrity and management are not all as well developed as that of the Namib Sand Sea.
The boundary of the Namib Sand Sea lies within the Namib Naukluft Park, south of the Kuiseb River in central Namibia.
Starting from Sesriem in the centre of the eastern boundary, the envisaged site boundary extends southwards to a point where the boundary of the Naukluft meets the border of farms Kanaan and Kamaland.
It further extends west-southwest to Gibraltar on the coast before following the coastline north to the Sandwich Harbour Ramsar site.
The northern boundary then heads inland to the Kuiseb River, skirting an area earmarked for bulk water production boreholes, from where it bends along the southern bank of the dry Kuiseb riverbed before turning south, encompassing a small extent of gramadullas with incomparable vistas over the sand sea, past the Gaub River tributary to Sesriem.
The identified site is considered to be essentially pristine dune-scapes, entirely encompassed within the Namib Naukluft Park under the management of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism.
The southern extremity of the Namib Naukluft Park and the Namib Sand Sea were excluded from the proposed property based on the presence of active Exclusive Prospecting Licences, the fossil aquifer, which supplies water to the town of Lüderitz and the intention to leave some of the area available for potentially destructive adventure dune tourism.
The Namib Sand Sea encompasses vast panoramas of majestic dune-scapes, strikingly crystallised in sharply silhouetted forms continually transformed with wind and time.
The Welwitschia Mirabilis is the next in line, which could be nominated as a World Heritage Site.
The plant can only be found in Namibia and some parts of Angola.

Derived from: New Era