Research weeks in Okanguati Conservancy, 15 February – 6 March 2020

Human Carnivore Conflict (HCC) continues to threaten the main source of livelihood of communities living with wildlife in conservancies and communities bordering national parks.  To understand the factors associated with the distribution of HCC, SCIONA students spend three weeks in the valleys and mountains of Okanguati Conservancy visiting livestock depredation sites and sampling vegetation structure at the sites. Livestock depredation is not distributed nor restricted to certain areas as it occurred close to and distant from settlements. Further owning to the understanding of the phenomenon, the structure of kraals where livestock was attacked and neighbouring kraals with no attacks were sampled.

The area gave off a lush green colour, and according to game guards, the conservancy has received good rains as compared to the previous rainfall season. This is evident as herds of cattle that were kept at cattle posts during the dry season are now roaming and grazing the near villages of Okanguati. Ephemeral rivers such as Omuangete and Otjivize meandered between mountains, eroding surfaces, flooding roads, flushing everything in its way and giving life to the once dry waterways.

Ailla-Tessa Iiyambula