IN an effort to boost the giraffe populations of wildlife conservancies in Namibia the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism in collaboration with the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) caught and translocated 30 of the animals.
According to a statement issued by the MEFT, 13 of the animals were set free in the Mangeti National Park in Kavango West Region. Three of the giraffes were set free on the Okongo Conservancy in the Ohangwena Region and 14 were taken the Doro !Nawas Conservancy in the Kunene Region.
To capture and transport the giraffes the ministry solicited the services of Du Preez Wild. The project was funded by the GCF and the Wildlife Conservation Alliance.
The translocation of the animals was done in response to a request by various conservancy committees to boost their existing giraffe populations with additional animals to improve genetic diversity in the different areas. The addition of the new animals is also expected to increase the tourism potential which would greatly benefit the conservancies and all their members.
“This is another clear demonstration of our determination to implement our constitutional mandate, which in translation provides for the protection of the country’s national resources for the benefit of our citizens both in the present and in the future. We believe that the giraffes donated, will go a long way in providing income and employment opportunities for rural Namibians and alleviating poverty. The ministry will continue to seek for intervention that do not only promote conservation of our natural resources but also cater for the social and economic development of our people.”
The Doro !Nawas Conservancy recently established a joint venture partnership with Ultimate Safaris in developing a low impact tourism venture with maximum yield to the conservancy. With ongoing support from the safari company and the GCF, the conservancy is committed to monitoring all wildlife including its new giraffe population.
All partners are committed to providing training to local guides and community members to ensure effective monitoring of the giraffes.
While the first releases were only witnessed by the translocation team and local MEFT staff, the release in the Doro !Nawas Conservancy was also attended by MEFT staff, conservancy members and local game guards, who were all excited about the new addition to their wildlife population.
Doro !Nawas Conservancy Chairperson, Gerson Namiseb brought along his wife to the release and commented afterwards that is great to see more giraffes in the area.
“I will make sure that our game guards take good care of these animals and keep a lookout for them,” he said.
Stephanie Fennessy, Director of GCF said that during difficult times like the COVID-19 pandemic it is great to be involved in such amazing collaborative work and to share some good news.
“Giraffe conservation is a success story in Namibia and we are proud to play a small role in it,” she said.
“We are looking forward to repeat this success and hope to bring more giraffe to other communal conservancies in Namibia in the future.”