Elephant & Wild Dog research in Namibia - why you should get involved

20 June 2018

The mission of our remote Northern Namibia research programme is to conserve the region's land, culture and wildlife, and protect keynote species threatened by the human-wildlife conflict.

In this research project, the focus is on local populations of elephant and African wild dog.

The African wild dog's intelligence, social pack structure and appearance make it one of the most interesting animals to track and research. Populations across Africa once numbered more than 500,000, but human encroachment, competition and disease have decimated the animals, with estimates putting the current population at less than 6,000. The wild dog is the fifth most endangered mammal in Africa.

Namibia's wild dogs

Namibia's population of wild dog has always been critical, now estimated at around 500. Their conservation is now a priority.

The African wild dog is without a doubt the most endangered large mammal in Namibia, with a population of less than 500 in the wild. The project aims to establish more reliable data on the free-ranging wild dog population and understand why and where they are coming into contact with humans.

The elephants of Namibia

In addition to Namibia being one of only two countries in the world to have groups of desert adapted elephants, there are also populations of African elephants across the country. In fact, Namibia's elephant population has bucked the wildlife trend, and has increased in the last two decades, to just over 20,000 - most living outside of the protected National Parks areas. 

The free-ranging elephant populations in the north of Namibia frequently come into conflict with farmers - damaging water pumps and pipes, destroying crops and being general nuisances. This has resulted in elephants being targeted as pests, and often shot as a precaution before any damage has been done. 

Carnivore research, the fitting of GPS collars, and educational programmes within local farming communities all allow for mitigation between farmers and the animals they view as pests.

Project highlights:

  • Small project: only the most hardy and adventurous make it out here, so you'll join a select band of project staff and intrepid volunteers
  • Remote location: discover the real Namibia, one that hasn't made it onto tourist routes
  • Unique landscape: if you thought Namibia was all about the desert, the region's lush wilderness and heavy vegetation will be a welcome discovery
  • Wild dog conservation: Namibia's most endangered large carnivore is in dire need of support
  • Work to prevent conflict situations between farmers and wild animals

Why you should join

This is real front-line conservation, off the beaten track, far away from tourist vehicles and safaris, where elephants are wild and the wilderness enormous. You will track wild dog and elephants in remote areas and work alongside conservationists to mitigate the human-wildlife conflict.

 

Taken your fancy? Take a look at the Elephant & Wild Dog Research Programme page to find out more!

 

 

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