Namibia Predator Research

African Conservation Experience  »  Namibia Predator Research

Namibia Predator Research

from £1,375
Duration: from 2 weeks to 3 months
Countries: Namibia
Work alongside professional wildlife researchers monitoring cheetah, leopard and hyena in Namibia
Summary

Namibia Predator Research

Namibia is an incredible place -  The arid South of Namibia is know for dramatic desert landscapes, but it is also home to some iconic wildlife species, such as Africa’s largest cheetah population, leopard and hyena. You can join a team of wildlife researchers at their two research locations and study the movement and behaviour of these predators and their role within the ecosystem.

Volunteers learn to use telemetry equipment to track cheetah, leopard and hyena

Some of the work you would beinvolved in includes:

Predator field research

You would work alongside experienced wildlife biologists at three different sites: A wildlife sanctuary near Windhoek and two research camps further South. The team use telemetry tracking to obtain close-up sightings of predators and monitor their health, breeding success and hunting behaviour.

Capture-mark-release study

There is an ongoing  Kanaan capture-mark-release programme for cheetah and the more elusive predator species like leopard and brown hyena run from the research sites. You would be involved in identifying areas of regular carnivore activity, setting up cage traps and checking the cages. If a predator is captured, the animal is immobilised and fitted with a suitable GPS or VHF tracker. This makes it possible to monitor the predators continuously, and helps with understanding how wildlife utilise the reserve.

Human-wildlife conflict mitigation

The knowledge gained from the capture-mark-release programme is used successfully to reduce human-wildlife conflict. The team alerts local livestock farmers if the predators are moving close to their properties. The close monitoring enables an understanding of the predators’ hunting behaviour, so that farmers can see for themselves whether their livestock is being targeted or not, which prevents indiscriminate persecution of wildlife. The longevity of the project allows for very special insights: One leopard has been continuously monitored since 2009, and in thjose years she has raised several cubs and hunted successfully without resorting to any livestock kills - An incredible story to be a part of!

Camera traps are a useful tool for wildlife surveys

Contribute to wildlife and habitat mapping

Accurate maps are crucial for good monitoring work! Volunteers will participate in compiling maps of the area. You will use a GPS unit to survey habitat features as well as important wildlife observations and infrastructures like water holes, roads and fences. The maps will be used for the scientific management of the reserve and will help with making future decisions with regards to animal populations and vegetation management. Mapping is done predominantly on foot, so you will need to be reasonably fit to join this project, as you would spend several hours walking in rough terrain and in a hot climate. This is  a great opportunity to view wildlife and enjoy the spectacular wilderness around you though!

Baseline wildlife survey

The research sites need of data on the populations of ungulates, so you will record sightings and population sizes of the predominant species like oryx, springbok, kudu and klipspringer. The information is needed to ensure sufficient water supply in this arid region and to anticipate any problems for the ecosystem due to potential overgrazing.

The research camps are remote and quite basic - part of the adventure experience

Camera trap census

Camera traps are an important resource for 24/7 monitoring - and they yield great pictures! The research teams therefore make extensive use of camera trap surveys. You will be involved in finding good sites for camera traps, help with rigging and maintaining them, and also learn how to analyse the information gathered from the camera traps. The findings are used to develop a detailed database on individual large carnivores.

One research site looks after several semi-captive cheetah

Behavioural observation of captive, semi-captive and wild cheetah

Working from different sites enables the team to study the behaviour of cheetah in various stages of captivity and human interaction. The sanctuary near Windhoek is home to several captive cheetah while one of the research camps has established a 7 hectare enclosure for 5 rescued cheetah, who can roam quite freely, but are provided with food and who are quite habituated to human presence. 


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Further Details

More information about this gap year opportunity...

Price details:

from £1,375

About African Conservation Experience

Have you ever dreamed of tracking wild leopard and cheetah through the bush, or assisting a marine biologist in whale and dolphin research? 

Open your eyes to a whole new world and way of looking at the natural environment.  We support vital conservation projects in our heritage region of southern Africa and with over 10 years experience we are able to offer every volunteer the benefits of our personal knowledge.  

Members of the Year Out Group and ATOL bonded.

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Telemetry tracking

Telemetry tracking

Volunteers learn to use telemetry equipment to track cheetah, leopard and hyena
Camera trap

Camera trap

Camera traps are a useful tool for wildlife surveys
Desert camp

Desert camp

The research camps are remote and quite basic - part of the adventure experience
Semi-captive cheetah

Semi-captive cheetah

One research site looks after several semi-captive cheetah
Image 4 of 4 images
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Interested in this; ready to enquire?

Find out more by filling out the form below and clicking send. African Conservation Experience should then be in touch shortly to help with your enquiry.

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