Namibia: Future of Hyaenas Insecure

by Oct 4, 2012Wildlife News

THE Caprivi Carnivore project is one of the projects funded under the Go Green Fund, an initiative of Nedbank, partnering with the Namibia Nature Foundation (NNF). The Fund is managed by the NNF and among the small grants administered is one for a study of spotted hyaenas in Namibia’s Caprivi region. The study is conducted by Lise Hanssen and has been supported by the Go Green Fund for a number of years.

The spotted hyaena is the most abundant large carnivore in sub-Saharan Africa, occurring in a wide range of habitats. The future of spotted hyaenas outside protected areas remains insecure. They are formidable livestock killers and are actively persecuted.

The Spotted Hyaena is unable to inhabit agricultural areas successfully and its future is tied to the long-term future of conservation areas.

Most Namibians depend on the land for their subsistence, but the presence of many species of large mammals, combined with settlement patterns of people, leads to conflict between people and wildlife. Large carnivores occur throughout the Caprivi and Kavango Regions and frequently cross international borders.

The project’s intensive study area focusing on the population ecology of spotted hyaenas falls within the Bwabwata National Park with particular focus on the core conservation areas of Susuwe and Buffalo.

The extensive study area focusing on land use practices and human-wildlife conflict falls within the human settlement areas of the Caprivi, i.e. communities within the Kyaramacan Association of the west Caprivi.