Guest Contributor | Apr 21, 2017 | 0
Zooming in on buffalo conservation
The 2nd African Buffalo Symposium will be hosted in Namibia during the 9th International Wildlife Ranching Symposium which is slated for 12 to 16 September.
Under the auspices of the Antelope Specialist Group of the Species Survival Commission (SSC) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the African Buffalo Interest Group (AfBiG), the 2nd African Buffalo Symposium will be hosted by the 9th International Wildlife Ranching Symposium and organised by the CIRAD Research Centre (Daniel Cornélis and Alexandre Caron) and the International Foundation for Wildlife Management (Philippe Chardonnet of the IGF Foundation).
According to the organisers the idea of the African Buffalo Symposia arose from the noticeable increase, over the last few years, in diverse activities related to the African buffalo.
The African buffalo is a key species for the conservation of African savannahs and forests and for the livelihoods of many stakeholders. The multiple uses of the species range from bushmeat for local communities to tourist attraction.
The symposium will provide a unique opportunity to discuss buffalo issues with scientists, wildlife managers, game ranchers, rural leaders and government agencies.
At the meeting, the role of the buffalo in the epidemiology of many diseases will be addressed, especially in view of strategic plans to contain or eradicate diseases.
However, although the buffalo is listed as “Least Concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, its conservation status is worrying in many other parts of Africa.
Meanwhile, buffalo is now a high-value species for the game ranching industry in southern Africa where their number and distribution on private land have substantially increased during the last decade. In Namibia, this value is not realised since buffaloes are not allowed south of the Veterinary Cordon Fence.
The 1st African Buffalo Symposium was held in Paris in November 2014.