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Nyae Nyae Conservancy manages to conduct annual game count despite higher costs

Nyae Nyae Conservancy manages to conduct annual game count despite higher costs

The Nyae Nyae Conservancy with the support of the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism undertook its annual game count in September.

The exercise involved wildlife rangers and volunteers observing the 18 water points within the conservancy for a continuous period of 48 hours, counting the different species of game coming to drink at each water point.

Nyae Nyae Development Foundation of Namibia’s Lara Diez said the collected data will be analysed allowing for an estimation of the number of game in the surrounding area.

“While the numbers vary each year according to rainfall and other natural factors, the longitudinal data can show trends. This is essential information as it gives a good indication of how the wildlife in and around the conservancies are doing,” she added.

According to Diez these game counts are an expensive but essential exercise.

The costs include providing provisions for the rangers and the volunteers during the counting and briefing period. A significant amount of money is also spent on data collection and analysis as well as having to drive across the vast 9,000km² territory.

“This year there were additional costs as masks were provided, while sanitisers and more vehicles were needed to ensure an adequate distance between passengers. Briefings were also held outside to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19,” she added.

Diez said given the financial challenges that many conservancies face every year, this year’s lockdown and absence of tourism created even greater financial difficulties for the conservancies.

“Nyae Nyae Conservancy is lucky to be receiving the support of the IUCN Save our Species European Union funds. This covered the cost of the game count as well as the rangers salaries for the year ahead. This has a great positive impact on the viability of the conservancy for the year ahead and the critical role the rangers play in monitoring and preventing poaching which is an essential aspect of the Rangers’ tasks as illegal hunting impacts the conservancy negatively,” she concluded.




 Rangers and volunteers being briefed about counting game.

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