Hupstoot vir navorsing oor kleinste kat

Nagraadse studente aan die Namibië Universiteit van Wetenskap en Tegnologie (Nust) gaan navorsing oor die swartpootkat in Namibië doen.

05 November 2019 | Youth

Justicia Shipena



Aus Motors het op 31 Oktober 'n voertuig ter waarde van N$260 000 aan die Namibië Universiteit vir Wetenskap en Tegnologie (Nust) in Windhoek oorhandig.

Die voertuig gaan vir navorsing oor die skaars swartpootkat (Felis nigripes) in Namibië gebruik word deur Nust se fakulteit vir natuurlike hulpbronne en ruimtelike wetenskappe, in samewerking met die Black-footed Cat Working Group (BFCWG).

Die studie fokus op die ­ekologie en gedrag van die swartpootkat in sy ­natuurlike omgewing.

Die Omaha-­dieretuin in Amerika en die Internasio­nale Organisasie vir die Beskerming van Bedreigde Katte het finansiering vir radiohalsbande en ander veldtoerusting voorsien.

Die projek gaan ook help om jong Namibiese natuurbewaarders deur Nust se nagraadse natuurbewaringsprogramme op te lei.

Die swartpootkat is een van die kleinste katte ter wêreld en uiters skaars. Inligting oor die katte is deur dr. Alex Sliwa op twee plase in die Karoo in Suid-Afrika oor die loop van 25 jaar aangeteken. Nust, die BFCWG en dr. Silwa het in vennootskap 'n kat­bevolking in Namibië geïdentifiseer vir verdere navorsing.

Ná jare se navorsing deur Martina Küsters, die BFCWG se veldnavorser, is 'n paar moontlike gebiede uitgewys waarin die katte kan voorkom. Die Nust-BFCWG-groep het in Janua­rie vanjaar sukses behaal toe 'n klein groepie katte tussen Grünau en die Visrivier-canyon gevind is.

Tydens die oorhandiging van die voertuig het Jordaania Andima, Nust se direkteur vir bemarking en kommunikasie, namens die adjunkvisekanselier, dr. Andrew Niikondo, gesê projekte soos dié gaan help om ­toekomstige leiers in bewaring en ­navorsing op te lei.

“Tans is baie min bekend oor Nami­bië se natuurlewe, veral die skaars diere. As Namibiërs moet ons trots wees op hierdie navorsers,” het Andi­ma gesê.

Volgens haar is die ­swartpootkatte op kommersiële en gedeelde plase gevind. Sy het gesê samewerking met boere, eerder as teenkanting wat betref natuurbewaring, sal die voortbestaan van die natuurlewe verseker.

Gerhard Vermeulen, die hoofbeamp­te van Auas Motors, het gesê om men­se te laat verstaan wat hierdie unieke kat behels, is wat van elke projeklid 'n baanbreker en kampvegter maak. “Om ons waardering vir hul werk te toon, het Auas Motors hierdie bakkie geskenk. Ons sal die voertuig diens en in stand hou sodat hulle hul ­doelwitte kan bereik,” het Vermeulen gesê.

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