Namibia Sun

Ellanie Smit,
January 17, 2018


More than 6300 human-wildlife conflict incidents were recorded in Namibia’s
conservancies during 2016.

These, however, were only recorded at 69 of the 82 conservancies in the
country and indicate that the figure might be an under-estimation of the
situation on the ground as eight conservancies did not hold audits in 2016.

The figure indicates that human-wildlife conflict has more than doubled
since 2003 when a total of 3 019 incidents were recorded in only 29
conservancies in the country.

The information is contained in the 2016 State of Community Conservation in

According to the report, in 2016 there were an average number of 92 attacks
per conservancy and an average of 0.2 attacks per conservancy on people.

That year the average attack per conservancy was 75.5 and the incidences of
crops damaged averaged 13.4.

Comparing these incidents of human-wildlife conflict to 2014, when all 82
conservancies held audits, there were 7 774 incidents reported, while the
highest number incidents were reported were 9 228 in 2013.

The report indicates that in the Zambezi Region animals that caused the
most conflict in 2016 were elephant with 380 incidents recorded, while 180
conflict incidents with crocodiles were recorded and 70 conflict incidents
with hyaena.

In the Kunene Region, a total of 630 conflict incidents were recorded with
hyaena, 500 incidents with cheetah and 490 with elephants.

According to the report, the number of conflict incidents with elephant in
the Zambezi Region has decreased dramatically from 714 in 2015, to 354 in
2016. Elephants range freely between Botswana and Namibia, making the
numbers of human-wildlife conflict incidents unpredictable.

Meanwhile, in the Erongo-Kunene regions the number of lions destroyed as a
percentage of the number of conflict incidents increased from 1.5% to over
4% between 2015 and 2016 and for leopards, from 0.25% to over 2%.

This demonstrates that lions are not so much killed for the damage they
cause, but because of the danger or perceived threat these species pose to
farmers themselves, according to the report.

The general increase in the total number of human-wildlife conflict
incidents in conservancies is mostly due to the increase in the area
covered by conservancies.

?Recorded incidents of human-wildlife conflict have increased due to the
increase in wildlife populations and shifting movement patterns of humans
and wildlife in response to drought. However, the average number of
incidents per conservancy remains generally stable.?

This news service is provided by Save the Elephants.