A receptive solution to human wildlife conflict

Author Murray McCallum
Date June 01, 2020

During the current lockdown we are seeing a global trend of increased poaching as people resort to natural resources to supplement lost income, as well as giving poachers free reign to hunt protected species.

Whether or not this has a direct bearing on the desert adapted lions of North West Namibia remains to be seen, however our ongoing support of “The Desert Lion Early Warning Conflict Mitigation System” is as important as ever in the context of pre-existing challenges facing the desert adapted lion i.e. ongoing conflict with livestock herders, a water scarce environment and a highly variable prey base.

Human wildlife conflict is a complex issue requiring multiple solutions, perspectives, and collaboration. This is especially true in areas where resources are scarce, as is the case in the domain of the desert adapted lion.

One such solution which is an integral part of the “The Desert Lion Early Warning Conflict Mitigation System” are Early warning (EW) logger towers, of which two more were recently installed.

Loggers are strategically placed near livestock corrals and local communities to detect the movements of lions which are fitted with satellite and GPS collars. If lions venture too close to an EW Logger, a combination of bright lights and sirens are activated which not only deter the lions but also forewarn local communities giving them sufficient time to corral livestock and prevent predation.

The logger simultaneously sends out alerts to a central server and rapid response teams, aiding communication, and collaboration between multiple stakeholders (including local police) in the event of any wildlife crime.

Currently there are 7 EW Logger Towers erected, assisting with early detection, including 8 satellite collars and 20 EW collars fitted to lions.

Hopefully, the ongoing support of this project which mitigates human wildlife conflict, will continue to create a receptive space in which lions and people can more easily co-exist.

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