Researchers Convene at Symposium to Conduct a Conservation Assessment of Namibia’s Carnivores, to produce a Red Data Book on Carnivores in Namibia
Windhoek – (27 November 2017) – From 8th – 10th of November, researchers from across Namibia convened at B2Gold’s Otjikoto Nature Reserve and Environmental Centre to conduct an assessment of the conservation status of Namibia’s carnivore species. This symposium represented the first step in the compiling of a Namibian Carnivore Red Data Book. Coordinated by the Large Carnivore Association of Namibia (LCMAN), the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) and the Namibian Chamber of Environment (NCE), the symposium was facilitated by Dr. Chris Brown, CEO of the NCE and sponsored by B2Gold.
Over 20 people were in attendance at the Symposium and presentations were given on each of the 34 carnivore species that occur in Namibia. In addition to MET and NCE, the Symposium was attended by representatives from the University of Namibia (UNAM), LCMAN member organizations including Namibian nongovernmental organisations and carnivore researchers, environmental scientists, farmers, and private individuals demonstrated the wide breadth of knowledge concerning the distribution of Namibia’s carnivores, as well as highlighted research gaps. Additional anthropogenic threats, information on species ranges, population trends, data sources, and conservation actions were discussed.
“This is the first time that this type of process has been conducted for Namibia’s carnivores” according to Dr. Laurie Marker, LCMAN Chair. “It was a very important process to undertake, as carnivore ranges continue to shift and change with the interactions of humans’ land use and other aspects of wildlife management in the country.”
Species leads and team members were identified and agreed upon among attendants, who will share data between themselves to create historical, past, and current distribution maps and compile species accounts for the Namibian Carnivore Red Data Book. Distribution maps of the 34 species on Namibian carnivores, ranging from 9 species of mongoose, 2 otter species, 3 species of genets, and a variety of the large and smaller carnivores will be compiled from expert data and knowledge by Alice Jarvis from JARO Consultancy, who manages the countries web-based Environmental Information service (EIS). The book will be compiled by the various species’ teams, edited by John Pallett, and is slated to be completed by August 2018.
“Bringing all the carnivore specialists and relevant organisations together to assess the conservation status of carnivores in Namibia, to identify threats and to develop a carnivore conservation action plan that considers relevant socio-economic issues is an important step in preparing integrated, cost effective management, research and monitoring approaches for carnivores in Namibia” said Dr Chris Brown. “This must lead on to ever closer collaboration between all the individuals and organisations, as good scientifically-based management is vital in the face of emotive armchair conservationists on social media.