URGENT intervention by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism along with concern groups saw a decline in the predation by hyenas on the few Wild Horses left in the Garub area of the Namib Naukluft Park.
According to a statement released by the Namibia Wild Horses Foundation the Draft Management Plan recently released by MET, evidence of hyena activity in the area still remains but that predation on the horses has not occurred since February 2019.
“Several mares are currently pregnant and expected to start foaling from late September to early October. The foaling will continue until February 2020 with most of the new born horses arriving during December 2019. The only foal, named Zohra that managed to survive past a certain age for the last six years, is doing relatively well and a lot with regards to the future of the wild horses rests on her shoulders!
The foundation said in their statement that following two stakeholder meetings, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) has circulated a Draft Management Plan (DMP) to stakeholders for the future management of the Garub Horses.
Namibia Wild Horses Foundation (NWHF) has given feedback on the draft plan and awaits the Ministry’s final decision regarding the action plan for the Garub Horses. NWHF has also offered the Ministry assistance with the development of the Action Plan.
The management planin brief states that the Garub horses are, and will remain, the property of the state. In other words they are a State asset and are managed by MET, That the MET has formally recognised the tourism and ecological value of the Garub horses and that the Garub area of the Namib Naukluft Park and Tsau//Khaeb (Sperrgebiet) National Park is to be re-zoned as a multi-use area for more effective management.
The foundation in an update on the condition and wellbeing of the horses said that the grass has been refreshed following the recent rain in the area resulting in an improvement in the condition of the Garub Horses.
“Currently there are 72 horses comprising 31 mares, 40 stallions and 1 filly. While there remains evidence of hyena activity in the area, predation on the horses has not occurred since February 2019. Several mares are currently pregnant and expected to foal from late September/early October until February 2020 with most arriving during December 2019. Hopefully this will coincide with the summer rainfall cycle which will stimulate new grass.”
The NWHF welcomed the actions the MET has taken in drawing up an action plan for the Garub Horses.