Working with communal wildlife guards, Round River student research crews conduct wildlife counts to ascertain population numbers and trends to inform wildlife management decisions.
Roughly twice the size of California with fewer then 2 million people, the Republic of Namibia resides in southwestern Africa between the frigid waters of the southern Atlantic Ocean and the vast expanses of the Kalahari Desert.
Since 1998 Round River students have provided wildlife research and community-based conservation assistance to the residents of the 28 million acre Kunene region of northwest Namibia. One of the last true wildernesses remaining in southern Africa, the Kunene is a distinctive ecoregion home to many endemic species, diverse bird species, and desert adapted species like black rhino, elephant, lion, cheetah, leopard, mountain zebra, giraffe, springbok, oryx, and kudu.
Equally as rich in cultural diversity; the Damara, Himba, and Herrero people live throughout this region, mostly raising goats and cattle and growing small gardens. Organized into communal conservancies these communities are tasked with managing their communal lands and wildlife resources.
The communal conservancies of the Kunene are putting forth great effort and making progress in conserving their wildlife. To further facilitate these efforts, Round River believes a multi-level conservation strategy is needed. Towards this end, presently, working in close collaboration with the central 5 Kunene conservancies and the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Round River students are conducting game counts and working closely with the conservancy game guards to receive and provide needed training assistance.
The productive and rich wildlife populations of the Kunene Region are subject to pressures from subsistence and trophy hunting, livestock grazing, human conflicts, and tourism. By assisting with the wildlife counts, Round River students are providing vitally important information to best sustain these wildlife populations.
Currently, there have been NO cases of the Ebola virus in Namibia or any neighboring countries. The affected countries are over 2,500 miles to the north.