Run by: The Great Projects
Reference number: Carnivore Conservation & Research in Kanaan -
The stunning region of Kanaan in Namibia is home to a wide range of large carnivores. Unfortunately, the wild carnivore numbers are beginning to drop, one of the main reasons why is due to farmers killing animals they perceive to be a threat to their livestock.
The land was acquired in 2014 by the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary with the idea to transform the area into an unfenced wildlife reserve. This reserve will provide a safe haven to many endangered animals, specifically carnivores and protect them from the pressures and threats of human-wildlife conflict.
There is a variety of carnivore species that can be found on the reserve including hyenas, cheetahs and leopards, as well as many other desert-adapted animals. Volunteers, during their stay, will help to record statistical data on the resident carnivores and help the in-country team form a strategic and long-term management plan to combat the human-wildlife conflict that is rife in the region.
Volunteers will assist the research team in mapping infrastructures in the region using a GPS unit. This information allows the management team to get a better insight of the region and any habitat features that might be subjected to changes.
As a volunteer, you’ll partake in regular game counts on horseback or by car. You’ll help the in-country team determine that the herbivore populations are strong and healthy.
2 rescued cheetahs live at the Kanaan site in a 7-hectare enclosure. Volunteers will be involved in the caring of these beautiful cats by preparing their food, feeding them and cleaning the enclosure on a regular basis.
Capture, Mark, Release
Collars with GPS tracking devices are placed on carnivores to monitor their activity. The data recorded is also used for scientific studies on carnivore behaviours. If the opportunity arises volunteers may be involved in the replacing of collars. Please note that this is not a guaranteed activity and will take place only when considered necessary by the project staff.
Camera traps are a great way for the research team to determine what carnivore species are present in the region and what areas they are most active in. It’s especially helpful for keeping track of nocturnal and elusive animals. As a volunteer, you’ll help to set up and monitor these “additional eyes”.
Radio Telemetry Tracking
GPS tracking of the carnivores is useful but sometimes direct observations provide more in-depth findings on the animals. You’ll head out into the field with the research team and use the radio telemetry kit to track down the carnivore in question to make direct assessments on their location and health. Please note that this is not a guaranteed activity.
Hiking and Exploring
There is ample opportunity to hike and explore the beautiful Kanaan landscapes. As a group, you will also learn all about the native flora and fauna from the project staff. You’ll even be able to take some incredible pictures in front of the sand dunes!
As part of any reserve, regular maintenance is very important and makes for safe surroundings for the animals on the reserve. As a volunteer, you’ll be involved in the maintenance of watering holes and will help with the removal of fences allowing the animals on the reserve to roam freely.
SunDowners/ Sunrise Breakfast
SunDowners are a firm favourite with the volunteers! Giving you the chance to relax in a beautiful setting, these campouts allow you to enjoy the sunset as it sets over the dunes. You may also be able to experience an incredible sunrise breakfast before sandboarding!
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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