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Mission

AfriCat

OKONJIMA AND THE AFRICAT FOUNDATION’S MISSION IS TO MAKE A SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION TO CONSERVATION THROUGH EDUCATION 

We will continue to strive towards the long term survival of Namibia’s predators in their natural habitat.

We aim to achieve this by working with commercial farmers, local communities, communal conservancies, any stakeholders, and the youth of Namibia.

AfriCat supports environmental education at all ages and levels of education, rehabilitation programmes, provides solutions to human-wildlife conflict issues and conducts constructive wildlife research.

AfriCat on Okonjima:

The ultimate goal is using this 'handkerchief sanctuary' (a description for island-bound conservation used in the book 'An Arid Eden' by Garth Owen-Smith, director of the NGO, IRDNC) as a model for what this area looked like about 200 years ago, before it was influenced by cattle farming, and use this primarily as an education programme for the next generation.

AFRICAT’S 2011/12 and Beyond Objectives:

Education – helping children and young adults of Namibia to gain a new sense of understanding for the natural world and the importance of wildlife conservation.

Large carnivore research, particularly cheetahs, leopards and Brown Hyaenas on farmland and in the 200sq km (50 000 acre) (20 000 ha) Okonjima Nature Reserve.

To create awareness and promote tolerance of large carnivores amongst the farming community, by advising farmers on effective carnivore compatible, farming techniques. Rehabilitation – giving previously, non-releasable large carnivores an opportunity to hone their hunting skills, become self-sustaining and return to their natural environment.

 

AfriCat North:

AfriCat North’s mission is the protection and conservation of wild or free-ranging lion populations in Namibia and throughout the rest of Africa, ultimately ensuring the survival of the species, Panthera leo. AfriCat North strives to mitigate human-wildlife conflict thereby reducing poverty, to keep lions in their natural habitat, to prevent the exploitation and inhumane treatment of lions and to ensure that captive populations are well cared for.

africat north lionlions drinking

WHY PROTECT THE NAMIBIAN LION ?

  • In April 1996, the lion in Namibia was declared a protected species.
  • The most recent estimates indicate a total population of approx.  690 - 1000 adult  and sub-adult lions (Namibian Carnivore Atlas - May 2001/2002).
  • The lion population in the Etosha National Park is estimated at approximately 300 - 350 adults and sub-adults (Namibia Predator Research Programme - May 2001).
  • Free-living (wild) lions, together with rhino and elephant, are major tourist attractions, therefore of great economic importance, indirectly attracting a great number of foreigners to Namibia.
  • The Kunene Region (formerly Damaraland + Kaokoveld), Etosha National Park, Bushmanland and west + east Caprivi are the only areas where free-living lion populations are still to be found.
  • The lion is fast losing its ideal habitat due to human encroachment and increased farming activities.
  • The importance of lions in a natural ecosystem should be recognised and conservation efforts prioritised.
  • It is believed that the lion populations of the Etosha National Park and Kunene Region are FIV-free (Feline Immuno-deficiency Virus / Feline Aids). The Etosha lion population is assumed to be one of only a few FIV-free (Feline Immuno-deficiency Virus) populations in Africa. Little is known of the effects of this disease on lions, but it could have a detrimental effect on the entire African lion population. This FIV-free status makes the Etosha lion population an extremely important founder population source.  No traces of the Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) or Bovine Tuberculosis (BTB) have been detected in either the Kunene or Etosha populations, adding to their value for lion conservation, globally.

 

  

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