Essential activities continue in Nyae Nyae Conservancy

15 October 2020 | Local News

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK



The Nyae Nyae Conservancy undertook its annual game count in September with the support of the environment ministry.

This involved wildlife rangers and volunteers observing 18 waterpoints around the conservancy.

According to a statement issued by the Nyae Nyae Development Foundation, they did this for 48 hours, counting the different species of game coming to drink at each waterpoint.

“The collected data is analysed allowing for an estimation of the number of game in the surrounding area.”

While the numbers vary each year according to rainfall and other natural factors, the longitudinal data can show trends.

The Foundation says this is essential information as it gives a good indication of how the wildlife in and around conservancies are doing.

“These game counts are an expensive, but essential exercise,” it said.



Costs

The costs include providing provisions for the rangers and volunteers during the counting and briefing period.

A significant amount of money is also spent on data collection and analysis, as well as having to drive across the vast conservancy, which is nearly 9 000 square kilometres.

According to the foundation, there were additional costs this year with masks, sanitisers and more vehicles that had to be provided to ensure sufficient social distancing between passengers. Briefings were also held outside to reduce the risk of exposure to the coronavirus.

It said given the financial challenges that many conservancies face every year, this year's lockdown and absence of tourism created even greater financial difficulties.



International support

“The Nyae Nyae Conservancy is lucky to be receiving the support of the International Union for Conservation of Nature [and the] Save our Species European Union funds. This covered the cost of the game count as well as the rangers' salaries for the year ahead.”

The foundation said this support had a huge positive impact on the viability of the conservancy for the year ahead and the critical role the rangers play in monitoring and preventing poaching.

Preventing poaching is an essential aspect of the rangers' tasks as illegal hunting severely affects the conservancy.

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