Human-wildlife incidents rise to 8 000

17 January 2019 | Environment

A total of 8 067 human-wildlife conflict incidents were recorded in Namibia's conservancies during 2017.

These were recorded in 71 of the country's 83 conservancies and there are indications that the figure might be and underestimation of the situation on the ground.

Human-wildlife conflict has more than doubled since 2004, when a total of 2 936 incidents were recorded in only 31 conservancies.





In 2016 the figure stood at 6 331 incidents in 69 conservancies.

This information is contained in the 2017 State of Community Conservation in Namibia report.

According to the report the general increase in human-wildlife conflict is mostly due to the increase in the area covered by conservancies.

“However, livestock attacks increased considerably during 2017.”

In 2017 there were on average of 106 general attacks and 0.2 on people, per conservancy.

There were an average of 91.1 livestock attacks and 13.1 incidents of crop damage, per conservancy, in 2017.

In 2014, when 82 conservancies held audits, there were 7 774 incidents reported. This was the only year that more than 80 conservancies reported human-wildlife conflict incidents.

However, the highest number of incidents were reported were 9 228 in 2013, when 79 conservancies held audits.

The report indicated that in the Zambezi Region, animals that caused the most conflict in 2017 were elephants, with 380 incidents recorded, while 200 conflict incidents were caused by crocodiles and 180 by hyenas.

In the Erongo and Kunene Regions about 700 conflict incidents were recorded involving hyenas, 590 involving cheetah and 400 involving elephants.

The report said there were about 160 conflict incidents involving lions in the Kunene and Erongo regions, with 8% of these lions being killed.

“This demonstrates that lions are not so much killed for the damage they cause but because of the danger or perceived threat these species pose to farmers themselves.”

The report said incidents have increased due to the increase in wildlife populations and the shifting movement patterns of humans and wildlife, in response to drought.

“However, the average number of incidents per conservancy remains generally stable. Crop protection from raiders, especially elephants, remains a major problem in the northeast.”

ELLANIE SMIT

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