Protect lions in Namibia from retaliatory killings

by Kevin Richardson Foundation NPC
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Protect lions in Namibia from retaliatory killings
Protect lions in Namibia from retaliatory killings
Protect lions in Namibia from retaliatory killings
Protect lions in Namibia from retaliatory killings
Protect lions in Namibia from retaliatory killings
Protect lions in Namibia from retaliatory killings
Protect lions in Namibia from retaliatory killings
Protect lions in Namibia from retaliatory killings
Protect lions in Namibia from retaliatory killings
Protect lions in Namibia from retaliatory killings
Protect lions in Namibia from retaliatory killings

Project Report | Dec 5, 2022
August to November Namibian Lion Trust report

By Tammy Hoth-Hanssen | Namibian Lion Trust founder

World Lion Day Cleanup
World Lion Day Cleanup

Thanks to the continued support by GlobalGiving and the Kevin Richardson Foundation, we have been able to sustain the Lion Guard Programme, continue with our Lion Research & Monitoring, thereby enabling Conflict Mitigation.

1. Collaring Npl-28 (male): The NLT team, comprising of 3 Lion Guards, Conservancy Game Guard Gregorius Ndjitezeua and wildlife veterinarian, Dr Diethardt Rodenwoldt, joined us for 5 days to track and locate the groups that we had identified during our trips to this area in July & August. Two Lion Guards were deployed ahead of the Research team to gather updated information from the Grootberg Lodge Rhino trackers and the Conservancy Rhino Rangers, the latter having been stationed for 20-day patrols. The regular Grootberg Lodge Rhino Tracking activities take tourists into the same area frequented by the lions, providing NLT with reliable information on their whereabouts. A recent giraffe-kill had been located nearby, including fresh tracks of the group of 6-8 lions that we had identified in July, tracked in August but had not been able to attract to a calling-station; sightings are a major challenge, chiefly due to low prey-base numbers, forcing these arid-adapted carnivores to move vast distances most nights in search of sufficient food to sustain their energy levels. Once prey has been taken down, lions will typically remain close-by; this was the case, providing the NLT Research Team with the first promising collaring opportunity since the July expedition.

Midnight on 04 October, an adult male lion (Npl-28), approx. 6-7 yrs of age, appeared at the putrefied giraffe carcass. The immobilization went well, as priority a GPS-Satellite collar was fitted, morphological measurements, blood, hair, and faecal samples taken; he weighed in at 223.10 kgs. The reversal was administered, the lion walking off into the distance within 20-30 minutes. Soon thereafter, he re-appeared to continue feasting on the giraffe.                                                                                                                                                 

2. Collaring Npl-42 (female): The NLT Team moved camp and en route, fresh tracks of the group of 6-7 were found, followed closely by Npl-28. A calling station was set-up, attracting 6 sub-adults: no adult(s) present.

Group 1: one male + two females, Dob estimated April-October 2020 (ages 2-2.5 yrs);

Group 2: two males + one female, Dob estimated April-October 2019 (ages 3-3.5 yrs);

Their behaviour indicated that one or more adults were expected, but did not arrive at the scene. Due to their youth/size, we decided against fitting a collar, preparing to wait on an adult. Fitting collars to sub-adults in such remote areas runs the risk of strangulation should the individuals not be located as the neck circumference increases. One team set off to locate Npl-28 further north, whilst another team found a fresh zebra-kill at camp, successfully taken down by the group of 6 sub-adults accompanied by an adult female; closer observation indicated that she was lactating, with 4 small cubs safely hidden on the hillside. In principle, NLT does not immobilize lactating females, postponing collaring until the cubs are at least 12 months of age. Faced with the fact that at least one member of this group required a collar for monitoring purposes, we successfully collared the largest sub-adult female (Npl-42). A GPS-Satellite collar was fitted, morphological measurements, blood, hair, and faecal samples taken; she weighed in at 123.25 kgs. The reversal was administered, the lioness walking away steadily with her siblings within 20-30 minutes. She returned to feed from the zebra carcass. The collar uploads are scheduled to 2 hourly intervals; the NLT Research Team monitors the location of Npl-28 and 42 each morning and each evening. We shall continue to track and observe the groups, also mitigating human-wildlife conflict should it arise.     

3. Update on Collared Lion Movements:

Npl-33 (male), collared Spring 2021, and Npl-38 (female), collared in 2022 (by MEFT), are loosely associated, sharing a core-home range. One large cub accompanies Npl-38, born approx. January 2020.

Npl-34 (female) and Npl-35 (male) were collared in June 2022 by MEFT; they form part of a larger group, that have moved further west-and northwards since their collaring, in search of migrating prey base. Despite the good rains that fell earlier this year, most of the natural springs have dried up, forcing both herbivore and predator to extend their ranges. Lions move out of the protected Exclusive Wildife Zones onto communal farmland, causing conflict. GPS-Satellite collars that enable regular location fixes, form part of a number of mitigation systems offered to the farmers. 

4. Lion Guard Wages & Salary Support: the 12 Lion Guards form an integral part of the Kunene Lion Ranger Programme, initiated by the Ministry of Environment, Forestry & Tourism, in 2020; a number of NGO’S, including NLT, contribute to this innovative programme. At present most of the 49 Lion Rangers covering 11 Communal Conservancies, are involved in the first-ever North West Namibia Lion Population Survey, that commenced on 05 November and runs until 16 December. We are proud of our team that spend day and night braving the extreme summer elements, enabling reliable data collection. 

5.  Livestock Protection Bomas enable the Namibian Lion Trust to support conscientious farmers, specifically those who practice sound livestock management, with the means to protect their livestock whilst in the field. During the lengthy drought, these mobile bomas came in good stead as animals were forced to find the last graze & browse far from the homesteads. 2021 saw the start of the Ministry of Environment, Forestry & Tourism Boma-building programme, providing permanent Bomas for a number of households in so-called ‘conflict zones’. Due to the dramatic increase in the cost of fencing material, it is not possible to upgrade every farmer’s Boma, so there is still dire need for Boma-upgrades. Since the good rains fell earlier this year, domestic stock graze closer to the villages, many returning to safety before nightfall. 

6World Lion Day 08 August 2022 celebrates the Namibian Lion Trust’s ‘FOR OUR FUTURE’

The Onguta ‘Lion Friendly’ Primary School sang and danced FOR LIONS, showing off their beautiful, hand-made lion-masks on World Lion Day 2022.  The Onguta Pre & Lower Primary School in the Ehiirovipuka Conservancy, forms part of the Ondao Mobile School system managed from Opuwo. The Namibian Lion Trust, kindly supported by AfriCat Namibia, AfriCat UK, Ms Lia Spitters of Stichting SPOTS, Netherlands, Avril Payment Solution, Namibia, Cowboys, Swakopmund and many others, are proud of the children and the Onguta Community’s pledge to Protect the Lions that roam their wilderness. 

The Marienhoehe Youth announced their hopes and plans on World Lion Day 2022: to address Crime, Alcohol & Drug Abuse and Teenage Pregnancy within their community, through encouraging sporting activities and a choir. They also aim to educate local farmers on co-existence with wildlife, especially lion and elephant. Their first project aims at finding a way to get mobile phone network to their area, to improve on the water shortage through more boreholes, as well as electricity supply.  Namibian Lion Trust endeavours to guide this group to reaching their goals.

Wildlife Club ‘clean-up’: Kamanjab, a tiny town close to Etosha NP western gate, once again needed a good ‘clean-up’! The Wildlife Club of Kamanjab Combined School, SaveMor Spar and Namibian Lion Trust got to work early Saturday, to commemorate World Lion Day. 105 bags of recyclables were collected in two hours by this enthusiastic group of Conservationists. Plans have been tabled to build refuse bins out of glass bottles and other recyclable materials, at strategic locations in the town; the school-going Youth are convinced that they will be able to educate the towns-folk to becoming a ‘recycling culture’, in the near future. Sincere thanks to SaveMor Spar and their innovative, dedicated managers Hannelie & Hugo Landsberg, for the scrumptious ‘hot-dogs’ & refreshments after the job was done; Plastic Packaging for the bin-bags & gloves, and everyone who joined us along the way! This is the start of good things to come…

Cultivating greater tolerance and appreciation of Namibia’s wildlife amongst the younger generation will determine what world we leave behind for the next generation, and what that generation we leave behind for the world

We thank GlobalGiving & the Kevin Richardson Foundation for their tireless devotion to all things ‘wild’ – their enthusiastic support of Namibian Lion Trust keeps us ‘out there’, doing what we do best.                                                

Lion Guard Tracking
Lion Guard Tracking
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Aug 3, 2022
April to July Namibian Lion Trust report

By Tammy Hoth-Hanssen | Namibian Lion Trust Founder

Mar 30, 2022
Collar Monitoring, Lion Guard Wages & Food Parcels

By Tammy Hoth-Hanssen | Founder of Namibian Lion Trust

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Organization Information

Kevin Richardson Foundation NPC

Location: Pretoria, Gauteng - South Africa
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Shani van Straaten
Pretoria , Gauteng South Africa

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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