SCIF Project Improves Understanding Of Namibia Leopard Populations

NamStay

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Source: https://huntforever.org/2019/10/16/...understanding-of-namibia-leopard-populations/


SCIF PROJECT IMPROVES UNDERSTANDING OF NAMIBIA LEOPARD POPULATIONS

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In partnership with the Namibia Professional Hunting Association and other conservation groups, the SCIF Department of Science-based Conservation recently supported a nationwide survey of leopard populations in Namibia.

Well-designed and scientific surveys to estimate population density and parameters such as age and sex ratios are required to ensure that hunting programs for leopards and other carnivores are sustainable.

namibia-leopardsPicture1.png



Recent decisions at the CITES Conference of the Parties in Geneva require periodic review of export quotas for leopards and other Appendix I species. Scientific data will be critical in maintaining these quotas and in allowing sustainable hunting of leopards to continue—and multiple science-based organizations have emphasized the importance of well-regulated hunting to conservation efforts in Africa and elsewhere.

SCIF has identified leopard conservation as a priority due to ongoing threats to sustainable use of leopards from western anti-use groups, with consequent damage to rural livelihoods in Africa and loss of critical support for conservation.

The surveys included remote camera surveys and landowner questionnaires across the range of leopards in Namibia. The results showed a healthy and robust population of between 11,000 and 12,000 leopards that occupies approximately 70 percent of their historic range in the country.

Using the camera survey data and habitat information, the authors derived a leopard density map that encompasses the entire country. Leopard populations in two of the three survey areas had increased since the last nationwide surveys in 2011. Landowner questionnaires showed that human-leopard conflict and consequent removal of leopards and other carnivores remain a significant issue for predator populations. They also revealed that attitudes of landowners towards leopards were more positive in areas where regulated hunting of these animals was available and represented a supplementary income source.

With its well-developed community conservancy system and healthy wildlife populations, Namibia remains a foremost example for how sustainable use of wildlife can benefit rural communities while also contributing to long-term conservation of wildlife.

Leopards in Namibia are doing well, but conflict with humans and livestock represents a continuing challenge. SCIF supports Namibia and other African countries in their conservation efforts through sustainable use of their abundant wildlife resources.
 

Ridgewalker

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I suspect none of the leopard lovers are going to believe any scientific data even if they see them all in their back yard. Science and emotions never see the same consequences.
 

Mort Hill

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I suspect none of the leopard lovers are going to believe any scientific data even if they see them all in their back yard. Science and emotions never see the same consequences.

This is true. However, while I was recently hunting night critters in Limpopo SA, we encountered two leopards. The reason why leopards are off the table in SA is because the only “scientific” data presented to the South African Wildlife and Fisheries department was one funded by the antis that showed a decrease in leopard populations. Since there was no other data to support stability, or even an increase, this was the data and report they had to use to base their suspension of hunting leopard. As my PH said, we all know that there are lots of leopards. We were just rolling along, fat dumb and happy with the way things were going. We got caught with our pants down, and now we are paying the price. It is estimated it will take another 2-3 years to collect all the census and factual data to submit a contradicting scientific report before SA will then be able to make a ruling based on the new data.

I am convinced this is where the anti groups, through their well funded NGO’s will try to hit all hunting. Without pre-emptive positive reports from pro-hunting groups in support of even the hunting of non-threatened species, they force governments to act upon the only “scientific” data available(no matter how skewd, flawed, or slanted the report may be) in an effort to suspend hunting.

This kind of funding and scientific support by SCIF is certainly a necessary step to combat this threat. I am glad to see this happening.
 

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Very good point Mort!
 

johnnyblues

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No one has to tell me about leopard populations in Namibia. I hunted them twice and spoke to quite a few landowners, they are in great numbers. And killing a lot of farm animals.
 

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This survey is good news!
 

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Mort, if I’m not mistaken SA has been closed now for 3 years, I wonder we’re there at now with reopening leopard hunting.
 

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Mort, if I’m not mistaken SA has been closed now for 3 years, I wonder we’re there at now with reopening leopard hunting.

It has been closed several that I am aware of as you state.

According to my PH, unfortunately the census being conducted is a time consuming process. Each leopard encounter, whether in person, or via trailcam, has to be collected, GPS coordinates confirmed, as well as time/date stamped and then submitted to the coordinators of the study. They will then have to produce a scientific study that demonstrates(not just states) that the leopard population of SA is either stable at the established populations of the study, or is actually increasing based on previous non-scientific numbers. I am told this process will still take 2 years to complete. So I do not see SA leopard on quota until 2022 season. Of course, I am just regurgitating hearsay so I may be wrong in either direction. Let’s hope it is sooner because in last calendar year I have encountered two large male leopards on two different properties in SA that I would hunt on a moment’s notice.
 

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"Anti-use groups" There is a good descriptor of them.
 

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