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Benefits of wildlife-based land uses on private land in Namibia and limitations affecting their development

  • Wildlife Conservation Network

Abstract and Figures

Legislative changes during the 1960s–1970s granted user rights over wildlife to landowners in southern Africa, resulting in a shift from livestock farming to wildlife-based land uses. Few comprehensive assessments of such land uses on private land in southern Africa have been conducted and the associated benefits are not always acknowledged by politicians. Nonetheless, wildlife-based land uses are growing in prevalence on private land. In Namibia wildlife-based land use occurs over c. 287,000 km2. Employment is positively related to income from ecotourism and negatively related to income from livestock. While 87% of meat from livestock is exported ≥ 95% of venison from wildlife-based land uses remains within the country, contributing to food security. Wildlife populations are increasing with expansion of wildlife-based land uses, and private farms contain 21–33 times more wildlife than in protected areas. Because of the popularity of wildlife-based land uses among younger farmers, increasing tourist arrivals and projected impacts of climate change on livestock production, the economic output of wildlife-based land uses will probably soon exceed that of livestock. However, existing policies favour livestock production and are prejudiced against wildlife-based land uses by prohibiting reintroductions of buffalo Syncerus caffer, a key species for tourism and safari hunting, and through subsidies that artificially inflate the profitability of livestock production. Returns from wildlife-based land uses are also limited by the failure to reintroduce other charismatic species, failure to develop fully-integrated conservancies and to integrate black farmers sufficiently.
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Benefits of wildlife-based land uses on private
lands in Namibia and limitations affecting
their development
Abstract Legislative changes during the 1960s1970s
granted user rights over wildlife to landowners in southern
Africa, resulting in a shift from livestock farming to wildlife-
based land uses. Few comprehensive assessments of such
land uses on private land in southern Africa have been
conducted and the associated benets are not always
acknowledged by politicians. Nonetheless, wildlife-based
land uses are growing in prevalence on private land. In
Namibia wildlife-based land use occurs over c. 287,000 km
Employment is positively related to income from ecotour-
ism and negatively related to income from livestock. While
87% of meat from livestock is exported $95% of venison
from wildlife-based land uses remains within the country,
contributing to food security. Wildlife populations are
increasing with expansion of wildlife-based land uses, and
private farms contain 2133 times more wildlife than in
protected areas. Because of the popularity of wildlife-based
land uses among younger farmers, increasing tourist arrivals
and projected impacts of climate change on livestock
production, the economic output of wildlife-based land
uses will probably soon exceed that of livestock. However,
existing policies favour livestock production and are
prejudiced against wildlife-based land uses by prohibiting
reintroductions of bualo Syncerus caer, a key species for
tourism and safari hunting, and through subsidies that
articially inate the protability of livestock production.
Returns from wildlife-based land uses are also limited by the
failure to reintroduce other charismatic species, failure to
develop fully-integrated conservancies and to integrate
black farmers suciently.
Keywords Ecotourism, fencing, Namibia, private land,
transfrontier, trophy hunting, wildlife
This paper contains supplementary material that can be
found online at
Wildlife management in southern Africa has evolved
through three stages (Child, 2009). With white
settlement wildlife populations were decimated by unregu-
lated hunting and habitat fragmentation (MacKenzie, 1988).
Declines were exacerbated by outbreaks of bovine pleuro-
pneumonia and rinderpest (Bond et al., 2004). A protec-
tionist phase followed in which colonial administrations
established legislation that centralized control over wildlife
and limited commercial use, making wildlife on farmlands a
burden for landowners (MacKenzie, 1988; Murombedzi,
2003). Wildlife populations continued to wane because of
illegal hunting, persecution by landowners, state-sponsored
hunting to remove tsetse yGlossina spp. hosts, and con-
struction of veterinary fences (Child & Riney, 1987;Taylor&
Martin, 1987; Bond et al., 2004). Negative wildlife population
trends improved following legislative changes during the
1960s and 1970s that enabled landowners to utilize wildlife
on their land (Bond et al., 2004).
During the 1980s there was a rising demand for tourism
and safari hunting, providing incentives for landowners
to begin wildlife ranching (Bond et al., 2004). Recurrent
droughts, declining range productivity because of over-
stocking with livestock and declining state subsidies
for livestock production hastened the shift to wildlife
ranching (Jansen et al., 1992; Child, 2000; Carruthers, 2008).
Predictions that wildlife could produce more meat than
livestock (Dasmann & Mossman, 1961) were not borne out
because of the costs of harvesting wildlife, veterinary
restrictions and lack of support infrastructure. Rather, the
comparative advantage of wildlife lay in multiple values
from ecotourism, safari hunting, meat and hides (Child,
2000; Carruthers, 2008). Wildlife ranching spread rapidly
across semi-arid private lands in southern Africa. There
are now at least 9,000 wildlife ranches in South Africa,
P.A. LINDSEY*(Corresponding author), C.P. HAVEMANN and T.A. RETIEF
Mammal Research Institute, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X20, Hateld,
Pretoria, 0028, South Africa. E-mail
R.M. LINES Namibia Nature Foundation, Windhoek, Namibia
A.E. PRICE Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality in Lincoln,
Nebraska, USA
T. RHEBERGEN Department of Plant Production Systems, Wageningen
University, The Netherlands
C. VAN DER WAAL Vanderwaal & Associates Agri-ecological Services, Omaruru,
S.S. ROMAÑACH African Wildlife Conservation Fund, Doral, USA
*Also at: TRAFFIC East/Southern Africa, Harare, Zimbabwe, and Panthera,
New York, USA
Received 13 January 2011. Revision requested 6April 2011.
Accepted 26 May 2011.
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, 47(1), 41–53 doi:10.1017/S0030605311001049 Downloaded: 09 Jan 2013 IP address:
covering c. 205,000 km
(Falkena, 2003; NAMC, 2006). In
Zimbabwe there were 27,000 km
of wildlife ranches prior to
so-called land reform (Bond et al., 2004) and in Namibia
there were 400 registered hunting farms by 2001 (Krug,
A growing body of evidence suggests that wildlife-based
land uses confer several ecological and socio-economic
benets compared to livestock farming in semi-arid areas
(Price-Waterhouse, 1994; Langholz & Kerley, 2006). For
example, wildlife-based land use has resulted in the
restoration of degraded rangelands in some areas and
stimulated recoveries of wildlife populations, including
threatened species (Barnes & de Jager, 1996; Bothma et al.,
2009; Child, 2009). In semi-arid areas wildlife-based
land use is commonly more protable than livestock,
generates more foreign currency, and is less susceptible to
drought (Price-Waterhouse, 1994; Sims-Castley et al.,
2005). Wildlife-based land uses contribute to food security
through employment, foreign currency and venison (Price-
Waterhouse, 1994; Langholz & Kerley, 2006).
Few studies have examined the economic, social and
conservation impacts of wildlife ranching on private land in
southern Africa, despite the scale of the industry. Lack of
data and a perception that the primary beneciaries of
wildlife-based land uses are white landowners have meant
that wildlife ranching is not always fully supported by
governments (Duy, 2000). Some politicians believe that
wildlife ranches threaten food security (du Toit, 2004) and
others perceive wildlife ranching as an attempt by white
landowners to avoid land reform (Gibson, 1999). Current
policies articially inate the protability of livestock
farming and suppress that of wildlife ranching through
veterinary restrictions on wildlife reintroductions (Scoones
& Wolmer, 2008; Albertson, 2010). Without intervention to
raise awareness among politicians of the benets of wildlife-
based land uses there is a risk that land reform will cause a
reversion to livestock in areas best suited for wildlife.
Southern Africa inherited skewed land ownership from
colonial governments and the transfer of land from white to
black farmers is a political imperative. There is therefore a
need for research into the scale and impacts of wildlife
ranching in southern Africa to guide land-use planning,
veterinary policies and land reform. Here we provide an
assessment of wildlife ranching in Namibia.
Legislative basis for wildlife ranching in Namibia
Several forms of consumptive utilization of wildlife are
allowed on Namibian farmlands with appropriate permits,
including: shoot-and-sell (shooting of animals for meat
to sell), safari hunting (sale of guided hunts mainly to
foreign hunters), management hunts (sale of guided hunts
targeting non-trophy animals), biltong hunting (mainly
local hunters sold the right to shoot animals for meat),
wildlife harvesting (wildlife is culled by specialized teams to
produce venison), shooting for own use, and capture and
sale of live wildlife (Gödde, 2008). Consumptive wildlife use
is governed by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism
via Nature Conservation Ordinance No. 4of 1975. This
legislation was amended with the Nature Conservation
Amendment Act of 1996, which conferred similar user
rights to residents of communal land conservancies (Barnett
& Patterson, 2006). A Parks and Wildlife Management Bill
is being drafted but is not yet operational (Laubscher et al.,
2007). Permits for consumptive use are allocated by the
Ministry of Environment and Tourism following sub-
mission of management plans by farmers and eld
inspections/wildlife counts (Gödde, 2008). Twenty-ve
conservancies have developed in which multiple land-
owners manage wildlife cooperatively (comprising 1,008
farms and c. 43,250 km
; Ministry of Environment and
Tourism, pers. comm., 2010).
A structured, pre-tested questionnaire was used to gather
quantitative data on land-use, wildlife, employment and
venison production (Appendix). Sixty of the 81 member
associations of the Namibian Agricultural Union (NAU)
were randomly selected. From each association four farmers
were randomly sampled and interviewed in person. If
respondents were not reachable, alternatives were randomly
selected. Interviews were conducted in English, Afrikaans
or Herero by four interviewers. Farmers were informed
that the survey was part of a university study on wildlife-
based land uses in Namibia and that the results would be
anonymous. The interviewers were provided with training
in survey techniques and observed multiple pre-tests of the
survey and conducted several supervised practice surveys
before commencing data collection.
Two hundred and fty farmers were interviewed
(sample distribution is depicted in Fig. 1). Because of
multiple farm-ownership/lease-holding the sample covered
412 farms (28,038 km
). There are 3,500 commercial farms in
Namibia (Giel Schoombee, NAU, pers. comm., 2010). The
margin of error with this sample size is 4.9% (i.e. 95%
condence interval). Refusal rate was 4.8%, which is unlikely
to introduce non-response bias (Lindner, 2002).
Estimates of wildlife populations and wildlife biomass
on freehold farms were made by multiplying mean values
per km
from our sample in each region by the area
of farmland in each region. Wildlife biomass was estimated
by multiplying the mean mass of individuals of a species
(0.75 of standard female mass; Hayward et al., 2006)by
respondentsestimates of populations of those species on
their properties. When estimating venison production mean
dressing percentages were multiplied by the number of
individuals reported utilized each year (Bothma & du Toit,
42 P. A. Lindsey et al.
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2009). All animals utilized were assumed to be adults
(sex ratios of harvests were provided by farmers), except for
culling, for which 0.75 of standard female mass was used.
To estimate meat production on a national scale two
methods were used. (1) Mean percentage otake of popu-
lations of each species in each region were calculated and
multiplied by population estimates for each region (after
Barnes et al., 2009). These values were then multiplied by the
mean meat yield from an individual of each species via each
form of utilization. For small antelopes for which population
estimates were not available the percentage of total meat
production from the sample that they comprised was
calculated, and the national meat production estimate
adjusted upwards by the same proportion. (2) Meat pro-
duction was also calculated based on available land, by multi-
plying the mean meat production per km
from all forms of
use in each region by the area of farmlands in each region.
Estimates of venison produced per km
in each region
were multiplied by mean prices (from the survey) to
calculate earnings from meat. Warthog Phacochoerus
africanus meat was assumed not to be sold, except where
the species was shot under shoot-and-sell permits, as the
sale of meat from the species is restricted (F. Joubert,
Directorate of Veterinary Services, pers. comm., 2010).
Survey data were analysed using multiple logistic re-
gressions, χ
tests and analyses of variance (JMPIN, 2000).
When commencing with multiple logistic regressions or
analyses of variance all variables expected to inuence the
dependent variable were included in the models and
removed following a backwards stepwise procedure until
all remaining variables were statistically signicant. To
analyse percentage income from dierent land uses we
categorized income data as 025% income, 2650% and
Data on vegetation, mean annual rainfall, human
densities, distances from towns/national roads of each
farm in the sample, and estimates of the area of freehold
farms in each region were calculated or derived from
12°E 16°E 20°E
South Africa
FIG. 1 Spatial patterns in primary
land use (i.e. that accounting for the
majority of farmersincome) on
freehold land in Namibia (categorized
as either consumptive wildlife
utilization, ecotourism or livestock),
and the line denoting the boundary
between the small-stock area (to the
south) and large-stock area (to the
Benefits of wildlife-based land uses 43
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NACSO (2010), using ArcInfo v. 9.3(ESRI, Redlands, USA).
Land was categorized as falling in the small-stockor large-
stockfarming areas, following Erb (2004).
Eighty-seven percent (87.1%) of respondents interviewed
were white, of which 54.2% were Afrikaans-speaking, 42.1%
were German-speaking and the remainder English-
speaking. Thirteen percent of farmers were black (of
which 74.0% were Herero and 9.2% Damara). Of farmers
in commercial conservancies, only 0.86% were black.
Land use
Livestock production was the most common land use
(92.3% of respondents) and generated the largest mean
proportion of respondentsincome (66.9%; Figs 1&2).
Cattle were the most widespread livestock (93.4%of
respondents; mean density where kept 5.1±SE 0.36 km
followed by sheep (72.7%, 13.6±SE 2.3km
), and goats
(61.6%, 2.20 ±SE 0.19 km
). Percentage income from live-
stock was inuenced by region (highest in Kunene, 79.5%,
and Otjozondjupa, 67.1%, and lowest in Erongo, 54.2%) and
by age of respondent (higher among older farmers; F
Ratio 53.69,df58,P,0.001; JMPIN, 2000).
Seventy-ve percent of respondents practised commer-
cial wildlife-based land uses (Fig. 2). Wildlife-based land
uses are practised over c. 287,000 km
and exclusively over
c. 32,000 km
(Table 1). Whether or not wildlife-based land
uses are practised was related to conservancy membership
(94.0% of respondents in conservancies cf. 69.4% outside),
and wildlife diversity (9.0±SE 0.32 wild ungulate species
where wildlife-based land use is practised cf. 5.2±SE 0.26).
Percentage of income from wildlife-based land uses was
higher among conservancy members (35.3%cf.19.1% among
non-members) and was higher among whites than blacks
(29.6% cf. 6.6%).
The commonest forms of wildlife-based land uses were
shoot-and-sell, safari hunting and ecotourism (Fig. 2). Safari
hunting (9.2%), ecotourism (6.8%) shoot-and-sell (2.7%),
live sales (1.8%) and biltong hunting (1.3%) generated most
income from wildlife-based land uses (Table 1). Percentage
of income from safari hunting was greater among younger
ranchers and among conservancy members (22.6% cf. 7.5%;
F Ratio 511.5,df52,P,0.001). Percentage income from
ecotourism was higher in the small-stock than large-stock
area (7.7% cf. 6.4%).
Twenty-one percent (21.4%) of farmers would consider
removing all livestock and practising only wildlife-based
land uses in the future. Willingness of respondents to make
such a change was inuenced by race (30.8% of blacks were
willing cf. 20% of whites), proportion of income from
ecotourism (willing respondents derived 8% of income from
ecotourism cf. 4% among unwilling respondents), pro-
portion of income from safari hunting (willing respondents
derived 22% of income from safari hunting cf. 11% among
unwilling respondents), and respondentsdistance from a
town (willing respondents were nearer towns 142 ±SE 20 km
cf. 192 ±SE 11.4km; χ
5152,df5158,P,0.001). Most
farms have stock-proof fencing, even in conservancies
(Table 2). Game-proof fencing is relatively uncommon
(Table 2).
Wildlife populations
Wildlife populations on freehold land may be larger than
previously recognized (Barnes et al., 2009;Table 3). Wild
ungulate diversity was higher in conservancies (10.1±SE
0.39 species per farm cf. 6.72 ±SE 0.36), positively related to
income from safari hunting (ranchers obtaining with 025%
of their income from safari hunting had 5.4±SE 0.2species,
those earning 2650% had 10.8±SE 4.4species, and those
deriving .50% had 12.4±SE 0.8species), negatively related
to income from livestock (ranchers obtaining 025% of in-
come from livestock had 10.3±SE 1.2species, those earning
2650% had 10.8±SE 0.65 species, and those deriving
.50% had 7.0±SE 0.3species), negatively related to farmer
age, and inuenced by vegetation (F Ratio 518.9,df515,
P,0.001). Wildlife diversity was highest in thorn-bush
shrub-land (11.6±SE 0.9species) and southern Kalahari
(10.3±SE 1.3), and lowest in Karas dwarf shrub-land
% of farmers
FIG. 2 Percentage of farmers interviewed who were engaged in
various land-use forms (wildlife cropping refers to the large-scale
culling of wildlife to produce meat for sale, the shooting often
done at night, and diers from shoot-and-sell which typically
involves the more selected removal of one individual at a time).
44 P. A. Lindsey et al.
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(4.4±SE 0.5). Four of the so-called big ve (bualo Syncerus
caer, lion Panthera leo, elephant Loxodonta africana and
rhinoceros Diceros bicornis) were rare on farms whereas the
leopard Panthera pardus was not (Fig. 3). Springbok
Antidorcas marsupialis, oryx Oryx gazella, kudu
Tragelaphus strepsiceros and warthog were the most
abundant species on farmlands (Table 3).
Livestock biomass (mean 2,251 ±SE 140 kg km
higher than wild ungulate (and ostrich Struthio camelus)
biomass (936 ±SE 84.1kg km
; F Ratio 564.0,df51,
P,0.001). Livestock production on freehold land con-
tributed NAD 1.97 billion (USD 235 million at mean 2009
rates) to gross national income (GNI) in 2009, compared to
at least USD 166 million from wildlife and tourism (Barnes
et al., 2010). Wildlife biomass is thus more ecient at
generating revenue than livestock. Wildlife, which com-
prises 29.4% of mammalian biomass, generates 41.5% of the
revenue from livestock, wildlife and tourism combined, or
1.41% revenue per 1% biomass, whereas livestock generates
0.83% revenue per 1% biomass.
Wildlife biomass was negatively related to income from
livestock (ranchers earning 025% of income from livestock
had 2,712 ±SE 900 kg of wildlife biomass km
, those
deriving 2650% had 1,516 ±SE 137 kg km
, and those
deriving .50% had 911 ±SE 136 kg km
), positively related
to income from safari hunting (ranchers deriving 025%of
income from safari hunting had 973 ±SE 256 kg of wildlife
biomass km
, those deriving 2650% had 1,369 ±SE 108 kg
, and those deriving .50%2,179 ±258 kg km
), and
positively related to income from ecotourism (ranchers
deriving 025% from ecotourism had 1,129 ±123 kg of wild-
life biomass km
, those deriving 2650% had 1,137 ±SE
166 kg km
, and those deriving .50% had 2,849 ±1,324 kg
), and was positively related to wildlife diversity
(F Ratio 569.9,df58,P,0.001). Some ranchers have
signicant wildlife populations and yet generate little or no
income from wildlife-based land uses, suggesting that the
resource is underutilized in some areas.
Fifty-eight percent (57.6%) of respondents thought
wildlife populations were increasing on their land, 23.7%
thought they were stable, and 18.6% thought they were
declining. Percentage of income from safari hunting was
higher on properties with stable or increasing wildlife popu-
lations (18.7±SE 2.8%) than where wildlife was declining
(1.50 ±SE 0.76%; χ
512.1,df54,P,0.001). Wildlife was
more commonly stable or increasing inside (87.9%) than
outside conservancies (75.0%; χ
Explanations for increasing wildlife populations included
favourable rainfall (35.3%; rainfall was generally above
average during 20002009; Namibian Ministry of Works
and Transport, 2011), good management (26.4%), conserva-
tive harvests (19.1%, Table 4), articial water-points (10.3%),
and incentives for conservation through safari hunting
(8.8%). Explanations for declining wildlife populations
TABLE 1 Total area, percentage (and area), and mean % income generated from each land use, of farms practising safari hunting, ecotourism, any wildlife-based land uses (i.e. safari hunting,
ecotourism, shoot-and-sell, biltong hunting, management hunts, cropping, live sales), wildlife only and livestock only, in 10 regions of Namibia.
Region Total area (km
% of farms with safari
hunting (km
), mean
% of income
% of farms with
ecotourism (km
mean % of income
% of farms with any
wildlife-based land uses
excluding own-use (km
mean % of income
% of farms with
wildlife-based land
uses only (km
% of farms with
livestock only (km
Erongo 21,729 50.0 (10,865), 22.8 20.0 (4,346), 0.9 80.0 (17,383), 33.4 10.0 (2,173) 20.0 (4,346)
Hardap 78,156 30.0 (23,447), 5.8 20.0 (15,631), 6.1 95.0 (74,248), 22.6 10.0 (7,816) 5.0 (3,908)
Karas 86,764 50.0 (43,382), 13.9 40.7 (35,313), 8.3 100 (86,764), 34.6 10.7 (9,284) 0 (0)
Khomas 32,349 29.1 (9,414), 4.5 29.2 (9,446), 14.1 83.0 (26,850), 25.0 16.7 (5,402) 17.0 (5,499)
Kunene 26,199 15.0 (3,930), 3.0 40.7 (10,663), 5.8 44.4 (11,632), 12.3 0 (0) 55.6 (14,555)
Omaheke 36,690 8.0 (2,935), 1.3 8.3 (3,056), 8.3 50.0 (18,345), 14.8 16.7 (6,127) 50.0 (18,345)
Omusati 802 15.0 (120), ? 40.6 (326), ? 44.4 (356), ? ? (?) 55.6 (446)
Oshana 550 15.1 (83), ? 40.7 (224), ? 44.4 (244), ? ? (?) 55.6 (306)
Oshikoto 7,054 15.0 (1,058), 8.6 40.7 (2,871), 13.7 44.4 (3,132), 27.2 0 (0) 55.6 (3,919)
Otjozondjupa 66,239 49.0 (32,457), 13.7 9.8 (6,491), 2.9 72.5 (48,023), 23.5 2.4 (1,590) 27.5 (18,216)
Total/% 356,532 35.8 (127,691), 9.2 24.8 (88,368), 6.8 80.5 (286,977), 23.6 9.1 (32,391) 19.5 (69,539)
Benefits of wildlife-based land uses 45
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among the 18.6% of ranches reporting such trends included
excessive utilization (50.0%), drought (13.6%), poaching
(9.1%), and persecution by livestock farmers (4.5%).
Meat production
An annual mean of 67.7±SE 6.8kg of venison was
produced per km
on farmland. Safari hunting generated
the highest quantity of venison (21.9±SE 3.9kg km
followed by shooting for own use (21.1±SE 3.0kg km
shoot-and-sell (13.9±SE 2.6kg km
) and biltong hunting
(6.5±SE 1.5kg km
). Most venison was from oryx, kudu
and springbok (Table 4). Typical harvests of wildlife on
Namibian farms were well within intrinsic rates of increase
for those species (Table 4). Venison production per km
related positively to wildlife biomass, wildlife diversity and
livestock biomass (F Ratio 548.9,df53,P,0.001).
Between 15,917 t (extrapolated from mean utilization of
available wildlife populations) and 24,952 t (extrapolated
from mean production per km
to available land area) of
venison are produced on freehold farms per year (Tables 4
&5). In contrast, 93,045 t of meat from domestic stock are
produced in Namibia (including communal land) annually,
of which 86.9% is exported (W. Schutz, Namibian Meat
Board, pers. comm., 2010). Approximately 805 t of venison
are exported from Namibia each year (including 85 tto
Europe, 160 t exported legally to South Africa, and a tentative
estimate of 720 t smuggled to South Africa; Laubscher, 2007;
D. Museler, pers. comm., 2010). These exports correspond to
3.05.0% of venison produced on freehold land, so more
venison than meat from livestock on freehold land remains in
Namibia (15,20022,200 t cf. 12,100 t).
Venison is typically sold to butcheries (37.0%), used for
workersrations (23.5%), or personal consumption (13.7%).
Sixty-ve percent (64.6%) is sold as whole carcasses, 22.5%
as unselected cuts, 6.8% as processed meat and 5.4%as
selected cuts. Prices obtained by farmers for unprocessed
venison increased from c. USD 1.42 kg
in 2006/2007,
to USD 2.07 kg
in 2009 but remains lower than the beef
(USD 2.44) and sheep price (USD 2.50; mean 2009
Namibian Meat Board values). Prices of meat from eland
Tragelaphus oryx and springbok were 14.1and 9.8% higher
than other wildlife species. Farmers obtained higher prices
for selected cuts (USD 3.71 kg
) and processed venison
(USD 9.47 kg
Annual earnings from venison sales were USD 12.4
depending on the region; extrapolating from
this USD 23.8million was generated annually from meat
sales on freehold land. Including meat obtained from
harvesting/culling and shoot-and-sell from eland, hartebe-
est Alcelaphus buselaphus, impala, oryx, kudu, springbok
and Hartmanns mountain zebra Equus zebra (species
likely to be most marketable) c. 4,100 t of venison could be
exported annually from farmland, which could generate a
potential annual return of USD 34.6million, assuming a
price of USD 9.47 kg
and that a market exists for that
quantity of venison.
Farm workers receive more venison as rations (3.82 ±SE
0.34 kg week
) than meat from livestock (2.11 ±SE 0.42 kg
; F Ratio 58.1,df51,P50.005). There are
c. 22,855 workers on commercial farmland in Namibia
(Giel Schoombee, pers. comm., 2010) and, extrapolating
from our sample, c. 4,500 t of meat are used to feed workers
annually compared to c. 2,500 t of meat from livestock.
Venison rations probably benet.33,000 workers and
their dependants on freehold farms.
Respondents employed 9.91 ±SE 0.94 workers per manage-
ment unit (farm or multiple adjacent farms managed by one
person or company), or 0.22 ±SE 0.08 workers km
Farmers housed an additional 1.94 ±SE 0.11 family members
per worker, or a total of 26.4±SE 1.9people per manage-
ment unit (0.41 ±SE 0.09 people km
). Employment
was positively related to income from ecotourism (farmers
earning 025% of income from ecotourism employed
0.10 ±SE 0.01 people km
, those deriving 2550%
employed 0.09 ±SE 0.01 km
and those deriving .50%
employed 0.31 ±SE 0.09 km
), and negatively related to
income from livestock (farmers deriving 025% of income
from livestock employed 0.24 ±SE 0.03 people km
, those
TABLE 2 Percentage occurrence of various forms of fencing on Namibian commercial farmlands.
game proof
Overall area 1.2 88.7 28.0 10.7 26.8 5.4
Small stock 0 93.3 84.4 0 22.2 0
Large stock 1.6 86.9 7.3 14.6 21.1 7.3
In conservancy?
Yes 2.6 76.7 3.4 6.0 38.8 6.0
No 0 91.0 32.8 24.1 22.3 6.0
46 P. A. Lindsey et al.
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TABLE 3 Estimates of wildlife populations on freehold land, by region and overall, based on mean densities of each species derived from farmersestimates of population sizes, and the estimates
of Barnes et al. (2009), ordered by total population.
Erongo Hardap Karas Khomas Kunene Omaheke Otjozondjupa
et al. (2009)
Springbok Antidorcas marsupialis 38,243 332,946 239,470 71,491 14,409 25,683 35,769 4,623 762,634 621,561
Oryx Oryx gazella 66,057 111,764 32,970 83,460 36,155 41,093 119,230 11,599 502,328 350,092
Kudu Tragelaphus strepsiceros 52,150 60,962 29,500 52,082 54,756 41,093 141,089 17,567 449,199 345,801
Warthog Phacochoerus africanus 52,585 37,515 2,603 78,931 30,129 72,279 139,765 9,666 423,473 174,115
Hartebeest Alcelaphus buselaphus 8,474 35,170 3,471 54,023 5,764 39,258 38,419 1,849 186,428 122,805
Eland Tragelaphus oryx 4,129 2,345 781 7,117 8,646 7,705 56,303 2,774 89,800 37,216
Hartmanns zebra Equus zebra 11,299 22,665 868 17,468 9,956 1,834 13,910 3,194 81,194 55,520
Blue wildebeest Connochaetes taurinus 1,304 17,976 1,041 11,646 5,764 6,971 29,145 1,849 75,696 16,623
Ostrich Struthio camelus 1,521 15,631 11,366 8,087 4,391 7,705 19,209 1,409 69,319 36,336
Common impala Aepyceros melampus 3,107 7,034 0 8,411 2,358 6,971 33,120 756 61,757 15,442
Black wildebeest Connochaetes gnu 1,956 6,253 781 10,675 1,834 8,439 15,434 588 45,959 ?
Waterbuck Kobus ellipsiprymnus 43 1,563 347 4,205 1,310 8,806 12,254 420 28,949 4,475
GiraeGiraa camelopardalis 2,162 977 71 981 3,151 5,635 9,731 1,011 23,719 5,769
Plains zebra Equus quagga 435 3,908 0 4,432 576 2,201 7,949 185 19,686 25,421
Black-faced impala Aepyceros melampus petersi 326 1,563 434 0 2,201 972 7,286 706 13,488 3,370
Sable Hippotragus niger 0 0 0 0 157 73 1,987 50 2,268 1,233
Lechwe Kobus leche 0 0 0 0 79 0 795 25 899 1,188
Tsessebe Damaliscus lunatus 0 0 0 0 629 0 66 202 897 162
Roan Hippotragus equinus 0 0 0 0 0 0 331 0 331 1,090
Total 243,791 658,272 323,703 413,009 182,265 276,718 681,792 58,473 2,838,023 1,818,219
Assuming that wildlife densities in Oshikoto, Oshana and Omusati equal those in Kunene, the nearest region for which density estimates are available
Assuming an area of 356,533 km
of freehold land (Mendelsohn, 2006)
Benefits of wildlife-based land uses 47
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deriving 2550% employed 0.14 ±SE 0.02 km
and those
deriving .50% employed 0.08 ±SE 0.01 km
Ratio 512.3,df53,P,0.001).
The veracity of our ndings is dependent on the reliability of
the answers provided by respondents. Because of the care
taken when explaining the purpose of the study to re-
spondents, linguistic matching of respondents and inter-
viewers, and the anonymous and non-contentious nature of
the survey, respondents were willing to participate and we
believe the data provided are reliable. Wildlife-based land
use is practised by 75% of Namibian farmers (according to
our data), and is increasing in prevalence (Barnes & Jones,
2009). Safari hunting is a more commonly practised form of
wildlife-based land use on freehold land than ecotourism
(and generates a higher mean percentage of farmers
earnings), contrasting with the ndings of Barnes et al.
(2009). Our study may have underestimated the contri-
bution of ecotourism: farms practising large-scale ecotour-
ism can generate high revenues but are probably clustered
spatially and may be underrepresented in our survey (J.
Barnes, pers. comm., 2010).
Livestock farming is the most widespread land-use and
generates the majority of income for most farmers.
However, livestock numbers have declined on freehold
land in recent years because of range degradation (including
bush encroachment) caused by overgrazing and the rise of
wildlife-based land uses (de Klerk, 2004; Barnes & Jones,
2009), although improved herd management has main-
tained output (Erb, 2004). Wildlife production is probably
less aected by bush encroachment (many species are
browsers) and, as long as stocking rates are not excessive,
replacement of livestock with wildlife should stimulate
gradual rangeland recovery (Child, 2009).
Economic role of wildlife-based land uses
Wildlife and tourism on freehold land contributed USD 166
million to GNI in Namibia in 2009 (or USD 213 million, if all
natural resources are taken into account), compared to USD
235 million from livestock (Barnes et al., 2010). These
estimates are conservative, as the economic value of venison
(USD 23.8million per year, excluding export earnings) is
higher than previously thought (USD 532,544; Barnes et al.,
2009). The economic contribution of wildlife and tourism
on freehold land may already exceed that of livestock despite
policies and subsidies favouring the latter. With continued
growth in tourist and hunter arrivals likely, the economic
contribution of wildlife will probably increase further. The
trophy hunting industry increased in value from USD 28.5
to 44.8million during 20042007 (Lamprechts, 2009) and
international tourist arrivals in Namibia are predicted to
increase by 5.7% per annum over the next 10 years (WTTC,
2012). Wildlife-based land uses are popular among younger
farmers and earnings from wildlife are projected to be 60%
less aected by climate change than those from livestock
(Barnes et al., 2010).
Social benefits of wildlife-based land uses
Employment on Namibian farmlands is related positively to
income from ecotourism but negatively to income from
Brown hyaena
Hartmann’s zebra
Spotted hyaena
Plains zebra
Black wildebeest
Blue wildebeest
Black-faced impala
Wild dog
Red lechwe
Black rhino
White rhino
% occurrence
FIG. 3 Percentage occurrence of large
wild mammals on Namibian farmlands
within and outside of conservancies.
48 P. A. Lindsey et al.
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livestock, in keeping with ndings from Zimbabwe (Price-
Waterhouse, 1994) and South Africa (Langholz & Kerley,
2006). In the Eastern Cape the switch to wildlife-based land
uses increased employment by 4.5times, wage bills by 32
times and conferred improved working conditions for
employees (Langholz & Kerley, 2006). Such improvements
are crucial as farm workers earn among the lowest wages
(LEAD, 2005). Wildlife-based land uses also confer social
benets through protein provision. More venison is
produced on Namibian farms than previously recognized
(16,00023,000 cf. 4,300 t, Laubscher et al., 2007) and acts as
a key food source for workers and their families.
Ecological significance of wildlife-based land uses
The area of farmland used for wildlife-based land uses is
more than twice as large as the protected area network
(c. 287,000 cf. 114,079 km
, Cumming, 2004). Although the
primary objective of wildlife ranches is typically prot they
nonetheless confer biodiversity gains. For example, 82,000
Hartmanns mountain zebras and 13,500 black-faced
impalas Aepyceros melampus petersi live on Namibian
farmlands, and cheetahs Acinonyx jubatus are present on
71.2% of farms (our data). Populations of most wildlife
species are increasing on farmlands and the proportion of
mammalian biomass comprised by wildlife increased from
8%in1972 to 29%in2009 (Barnes & de Jager, 1996). Wildlife
numbers on commercial farms (1.82.8million) exceed
those in protected areas (c. 121,000) and community conser-
vancies (150,000200,000; Barnes et al., 2009; C. Weaver,
WWFNamibia, pers. comm.). Wildlife abundance on
freehold land may also be higher than previous estimates.
Our extrapolations of wildlife numbers require caution as
they rely on farmersestimates. However, the Ministry of
Environment and Tourism (and conservancies) conduct
regular wildlife counts and most farmers probably have a
reasonable impression of their wildlife populations.
There are, however, a number of conservation problems
on Namibian farmlands, including continued intolerance
towards predators (Marker et al., 2003). Lions and wild dogs
Lycaon pictus occur on ,10% of farms, suggesting that
lethal control is preventing them from recovering. Ranchers
may persecute predators to protect their investment in
valuable extralimital wildlife species. In addition, the
increasing prevalence of game-proof fencing can interrupt
natural processes such as migration, reduce the ability of
ungulates to utilize patchy primary productivity (Fryxell &
Sinclair, 1988) and increase the risk of localized overstocking
(Lindsey et al., 2009). Finally, although wild ungulate
populations are thriving in most areas, there are negative
trends in some groups of farms. Such trends are possibly
because of excessive harvesting related to high venison
prices and are most common outside conservancies, where
harvests are not coordinated.
Lack of development of wildlife ranching in Namibia
Despite expansion of wildlife-based land uses in Namibia it
has not yet been embraced as fully by farmers as in South
Africa or, as formerly, in Zimbabwe. Most Namibian
TABLE 4 Game meat production on Namibian freehold farms, the percentage of meat produced in each region, otake as a proportion of
populations and intrinsic rates of increase for each species by comparison, ordered by estimate of meat produced.
Conservative estimate
of meat produced (kg)
% of meat
Otake as a %
of populations
Intrinsic rates
of increase
Oryx 5,993,803 37.7 14.3 21.9
Kudu 3,477,249 21.8 9 24.4
Springbok 2,210,013 13.9 17.9 40.9
Eland 1,066,053 6.7 9.9 16.5
Hartebeest 842,772 5.3 9.4 26.8
Hartmanns zebra 718,593 4.5 8.2 19.8
Warthog 559,702 3.5 8.3 34.4
Blue wildebeest 350,133 2.2 17.1 23.1
Other species
207,260 1.3
Girae 159,051 1.0 4.3 13.3
Plains zebra 141,386 0.9 10.6 18.8
Common impala 116,310 0.7 22.5 38.1
Waterbuck 63,993 0.4 9.7 23.1
Sable antelope 9,029 0.1 7.6 21.9
Black-faced impala 1,367 0.0 2 38.1
Total 15,916,714 100
Extrapolating from population estimates made by Barnes et al. (2009); this is conservative as our estimates of wildlife populations are considerably higher
Calculated as the total number of animals of each species harvested on the ranches surveyed as a percentage of the populations of those species estimated by
the ranchers
Black wildebeest, nyala Tragelaphus angasi, tsessebe, white rhinoceros Ceratotherium simum, klipspringer Oreotragus oreotragus, dik dik, grey duiker
Sylvicapra grimmia, blesbok Damaliscus pygargus, ostrich
Benefits of wildlife-based land uses 49
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farmers (.90%) retain livestock whereas by 2001 .50%of
ranchers in several semi-arid parts of South Africa and
Zimbabwe had removed all livestock (Lindsey et al., 2009).
Six factors in particular undermine the development and
value of wildlife-based land uses in Namibia.
Inadequate devolution of user rights over wildlife In
Namibia user-rights over wildlife were not devolved as far
to landowners as in Zimbabwe and South Africa (NNF,
2010). Landowners in Namibia are required to apply for
permits to hunt wildlife, reducing management exibility
and protability, increasing transaction time and costs, and
impinging on farmersautonomy, thus creating disincen-
tives for wildlife-based land uses (NNF, 2010). The permit
system and seasonal restrictions on hunting also limit
venison exports (Gödde, 2008).
Veterinary restrictions A veterinary cordon across northern
Namibia controls the spread of foot-and-mouth disease to
retain access to export markets for beef. Most freehold farms
occur south of the cordon in the foot-and-mouth disease
free zone, where the reintroduction of bualo is prohibited
(including individuals free of foot-and-mouth disease; DVS,
2007). The bualo is a key species for safari hunting because
it commands high trophy fees (USD 6,400 cf. ,USD 1,000
for most antelopes) and is used to sell hunting packages
(bualoes generate c. USD 14,000 in daily rates per hunt
cf. c. USD 4,000 for antelope hunts; P. Lindsey, unpubl. data).
Bualoes generate 4.149.0% of income from safari hunting
depending on the country (Lindsey et al., 2012). Historically,
the bualo occurred in most areas with .250 mm of
rainfall, including much of what is now farmlands (Martin,
2004). Costs of veterinary restrictions are borne by the state
but the benets are enjoyed by individual farmers,
articially inating the protability of livestock (Scoones
&Wolmer,2008). Nonetheless, the protability of com-
mercial livestock production is low across much of southern
Africa (Jansen et al., 1992; McLaughlin, 2010) and is
projected to decline (Barnes et al., 2009). Long-term access
to European markets for beef is not guaranteed, the costs of
maintaining veterinary restrictions are increasing and the
ecacy of control measures for foot-and-mouth disease is
declining (Scoones & Wolmer, 2008; Thomson, 2008). The
wisdom of continued subsidization of the livestock industry
at the expense of wildlife-based land uses is thus question-
able. At the very least provision should be made for the
reintroduction of certied disease-free bualo on wildlife
ranches in the freehold farming area. Alternatively, several
dierent approaches to veterinary control could be
considered to allow for the unfettered development of
wildlife-based land uses in certain areas. For example, foot-
and-mouth disease-infected zones could be expanded, or
veterinary disease control could be compartmentalized, to
allow for the creation of wildlife production zones in areas of
particularly suitable habitat. Lastly, commodity-based trade
TABLE 5 Estimated amount of game meat produced on commercial farmlands in Namibia, by region, from various forms of wildlife utilization, and overall, based on mean meat production
per km
for various forms of wildlife utilization, ordered by total.
Region Area of farms (km
Safari hunting (kg) Biltong hunting (kg) Wildlife harvest (kg) Shoot-and-sell (kg) Management hunts (kg) Own use (kg) Total (kg)
Otjozondjupa 66,239 2,510,464 351,068 364,315 1,655,979 46,367 1,397,646 6,325,840
Hardap 78,156 1,187,976 578,357 672,144 695,591 85,972 789,379 4,009,420
Khomas 32,349 1,643,320 278,200 6,470 595,218 80,872 705,204 3,309,284
Omaheke 36,690 1,717,084 172,442 198,125 62,373 0 865,880 3,015,904
Karas 86,764 52,059 1,093,232 537,940 616,028 95,441 581,322 2,976,021
Erongo 21,729 793,114 256,404 0 465,004 0 880,030 2,394,551
Kunene 26,199 974,604 112,656 31,439 382,506 2,620 707,374 2,211,199
7,054 262,398 30,331 8,464 102,984 705 190,450 595,334
802 29,823 3,447 962 11,705 80 21,646 67,663
550 20,457 2,365 660 8,029 55 14,848 46,414
Total 356,532 9,191,839 2,878,502 1,820,519 4,595,417 312,113 6,153,779 24,951,630
Based on an estimate of the total area of freehold land (which excludes resettlement farms) and using the proportional breakdown of farms in each region (Mendelsohn, 2006)
Assuming that meat production values in these regions equals those in Kunene, the nearest region with available data
50 P. A. Lindsey et al.
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could be considered (Scoones & Wolmer, 2008). Through
commodity-based trading meat processed in a manner
proven to provide minimal risk of transmitting foot-and-
mouth disease would be acceptable for export (Thomson,
2008). If accepted by the International Organization for
Animal Health and the EU, commodity-based trading
would provide scope for reintroduction of bualo on
freehold land while permitting continued export of beef
(Cumming, 2010).
Failure to reintroduce other high-value species Because of the
shortage of so-called big game on freehold land most
farmers oer similar, low-value hunting/tourism products
involving antelopes. In South Africa ranchers with the big
ve charge more than double for ecotourism than individ-
uals lacking these species (Lindsey et al., 2009). Namibia and
Botswana generate similar revenues from safari hunting
even though Namibia attracts 4,0006,000 annually com-
pared to the 500 that visit Botswana (Martin, 2008; NAPHA,
pers. comm.), because of the shortage of high-value species
on Namibian farms (Humavindu & Barnes, 2003).
Failure to develop fully integrated conservancies A key reason
for the absence of the largest species on farmlands is the
failure of landowners to cooperate to form fully integrated
conservancies. In Zimbabwe and South Africa large
conservancies have developed in which all livestock and
internal fencing has been removed, and all indigenous
mammal species reintroduced (Lindsey et al., 2009). By
contrast, Namibian conservancies lack key species, are
fractured because not all farms within their boundaries are
members, and typically retain livestock and internal fencing.
Fully integrated conservancies would facilitate higher-end
ecotourism and safari hunting and would confer a variety of
social and ecological benets (Lindsey et al., 2009). At
present, however, the Namibian government does not
formally recognize private conservancies and the permit
system discourages their formation. Landowners with
properties surrounded by game fencing are granted longer
hunting seasons and more complete user rights over wildlife
than those without fencing (including within conservancies;
Gödde, 2008). This situation should be reversed.
Failure to integrate development of wildlife-based land uses
with land reform As currently practised in Namibia land
reform may cause a shift from wildlife-based land uses to
livestock because of a lack of the necessary experience,
expertise and start-up capital among many emerging
farmers, and inadequate eorts by government to promote
their integration into wildlife ranching. Government could
identify suitable farms as wildlife ranches and purchase
them for allocation to interested emerging farmers, whom
our data suggest may be numerous. Promoting the
development of fully integrated conservancies could also
assist land reform. The economies of scale and centralized
management in conservancies would remove key barriers
for entry into wildlife-based land uses for emerging farmers.
Conservancies could be structured as corporate entities to
allow investment by emerging farmers, creating alternative
avenues for achieving land reform that would allow for the
retention of existing capital and capacity. Proactive eorts
by commercial conservancies to facilitate the integration of
black farmers may improve prospects of being granted a
favourable legislative environment.
Failure to exploit export markets for venison The economic
value of wildlife-based land uses has been limited by failure
to exploit potential export markets for venison, because of
inconsistent meat supplies, lack of facilities to store venison,
a shortage of EU-approved abattoirs, and lack of awareness
among target markets of the health qualities of venison
(Gödde, 2008).
Similar constraints limit the value of wildlife ranching
elsewhere in southern Africa and our recommendations
have regional applicability. Wildlife is outcompeting live-
stock throughout semi-arid areas of southern Africa, despite
policies favouring the latter. A more level legislative environ-
ment would allow the full potential of wildlife-based land
uses to be harnessed and could generate signicant
economic, social and conservation benets.
We thank TRAFFIC East/Southern Africa and Tom
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Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Develop-
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Biographical sketches
PETER LINDSEY works throughout Southern Africa on wildlife-based
land uses, the bushmeat trade and predator conservation. C ARL
HAVEM ANN is studying the roan antelope in Botswana. R OBIN LINES
has undertaken applied research on large carnivore conservation in
Southern Africa since 2002.A
ARON PRICE works on livestock water
quality compliance. TARRYN RETIEF is studying the eects of
biological gradients on biodiversity in Botswana. TIEMEN
RHEBERGEN works as a consultant in geographical information
systems and agriculture. CORNELIS VAN DER WAALs research
interests include applied rangeland ecology in savannah and desert
systems, and mine restoration. STEPHANIE S. ROMAÑACH investi-
gates wildlife responses to climate change and ecosystem restoration in
the Everglades. She has worked widely in Southern and Eastern Africa
and helps run the African Wildlife Conservation Fund.
Benefits of wildlife-based land uses 53
©2013 Fauna & Flora International,
, 47(1), 41–53
... The development of game farms, with land use practices such as game meat production, ecotourism, trophy hunting, and/or wildlife conservation (i.e., wildlife-based land uses), resulted in substantial increases of wildlife numbers outside state PAs because more habitat became preserved ( Barnes et al. 2004 ). Game farming may be more profitable compared with livestock farming in semiarid areas, which underpinned the transition toward multiple-use landscapes ( Lindsey et al. 2013b ;Holechek and Valdez 2018 ;Young et al. 2018 ). This resulted in a mosaic distribution of livestock farms, game farms, and mixed farms (both livestock production and wildlife-based land uses) across southern African rangelands, and therefore it is vital to understand the effect of local-scale variation in land use practices on patterns of biodiversity and ecosystem health. ...
... Such landscape-level approaches may enable rangelands to maintain ecological integrity and thus require consideration during landscape planning of nonprotected areas. Furthermore, private lands are known to provide significant conservation benefits ( Lindsey et al. 2013b ;Stolton et al. 2014 ;Clements et al. 2019 ;Shumba et al. 2020 ), where the presence of game farms may be important to reinforce the natural prey base. We encourage future research to investigate carnivore movements and mortality rates between different farm types as this could provide important insights into the functional landscape connectivity and source-sink dynamics in this study system. ...
Many rangelands worldwide are threatened by human population growth, so there is an urgent need for understanding how we can preserve functional diversity across these systems. The conservation and restoration of mammalian carnivores (order Carnivora) is critical because they impart important trophic cascading effects. Land use practice on rangelands may determine carnivore distributions and abundances; thus, to effectively facilitate coexistence between carnivores and humans, it is essential to understand carnivore community functioning in human-dominated landscapes. We conducted a camera trapping survey on multiple-use rangeland in north-central Namibia to investigate the spatial ecology of free-ranging carnivores in a farming system that comprises both livestock farming activities and wildlife-based land uses. We hypothesized that carnivore diversity and occupancy would be determined by farm type and predicted the associations of carnivore distributions with covariates related to resource availability, intraguild interactions, and anthropogenic influence. We considered single-season occupancy models and hypothesized that in this semiarid study system, seasonality had profound effects on the spatial ecology of carnivores. Our results show that Namibian multiple-use rangeland supported a diverse carnivore guild. Carnivore diversity and occupancy were generally similar across farm types, suggesting that the carnivore community assemblage in our study area was homogeneous. Local-scale variation in land use practices did not limit carnivore distributions, which could be key to maintaining ecological integrity of rangelands. The effect of seasonality suggested that carnivore space use on Namibian rangelands was influenced by availability of dry season resources. In addition, carnivores were dependent on natural resources, showed complex interactions with intraguild members, and had seasonally contrasting associations with anthropogenic activities. Namibian multiple-use rangelands may function as viable socioecological landscapes and could act as an important link between core conservation areas.
... We parameterized our simulation model using a Namibian savanna. This question is particularly relevant to Namibia because transitions from livestock to wildlife are being incentivized by governmental initiatives (Government of the Republic of Namibia, 2014; Jones, 2015;Lindsey et al., 2013). ...
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Changing climatic conditions and unsustainable land use are major threats to savannas worldwide. Historically, many African savannas were used intensively for livestock grazing, which contributed to widespread patterns of bush encroachment across savanna systems. To reverse bush encroachment, it has been proposed to change the cattle-dominated land use to one dominated by comparatively specialized browsers and usually native herbivores. However, the consequences for ecosystem properties and processes remain largely unclear. We used the ecohydrological, spatially explicit model EcoHyD to assess the impacts of two contrasting, herbivore land-use strategies on a Namibian savanna: grazer- versus browser-dominated herbivore communities. We varied the densities of grazers and browsers and determined the resulting composition and diversity of the plant community, total vegetation cover, soil moisture, and water use by plants. Our results showed that plant types that are less palatable to herbivores were best adapted to grazing or browsing animals in all simulated densities. Also, plant types that had a competitive advantage under limited water availability were among the dominant ones irrespective of land-use scenario. Overall, the results were in line with our expectations: under high grazer densities, we found heavy bush encroachment and the loss of the perennial grass matrix. Importantly, regardless of the density of browsers, grass cover and plant functional diversity were significantly higher in browsing scenarios. Browsing herbivores increased grass cover, and the higher total cover in turn improved water uptake by plants overall. We concluded that, in contrast to grazing-dominated land-use strategies, land-use strategies dominated by browsing herbivores, even at high herbivore densities, sustain diverse vegetation communities with high cover of perennial grasses, resulting in lower erosion risk and bolstering ecosystem services.
... Wildlife tourism is the most widely used intervention to enable local communities to secure benefits from sharing a landscape with large carnivores. Notable examples of tourism for carnivores and other charismatic species across Africa have been promoted as conservation and development successes (Lindsey et al., 2013). Whilst most offer wildlife photography-based safaris, some also allow trophy hunting or include handicrafts or other wildlife-based products (Mishra et al., 2003;Lindsey et al., 2006). ...
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Coexistence with large carnivores poses challenges to human well-being, livelihoods, development, resource management, and policy. Even where people and carnivores have historically coexisted, traditional patterns of behavior toward large carnivores may be disrupted by wider processes of economic, social, political, and climate change. Conservation interventions have typically focused on changing behaviors of those living alongside large carnivores to promote sustainable practices. While these interventions remain important, their success is inextricably linked to broader socio-political contexts, including natural resource governance and equitable distribution of conservation-linked costs and benefits. In this context we propose a Theory of Change to identify logical pathways of action through which coexistence with large carnivores can be enhanced. We focus on Africa's dryland landscapes, known for their diverse guild of large carnivores that remain relatively widespread across the continent. We review the literature to understand coexistence and its challenges; explain our Theory of Change, including expected outcomes and pathways to impact; and discuss how our model could be implemented and operationalized. Our analysis draws on the experience of coauthors, who are scientists and practitioners, and on literature from conservation, political ecology, and anthropology to explore the challenges, local realities, and place-based conditions under which expected outcomes succeed or fail. Three pathways to impact were identified: (a) putting in place good governance harmonized across geographic scales; (b) addressing coexistence at the landscape level; and (c) reducing costs and increasing benefits of sharing a landscape with large carnivores. Coordinated conservation across the extensive, and potentially transboundary, landscapes needed by large carnivores requires harmonization of top-down approaches with bottom-up community-based conservation. We propose adaptive co-management approaches combined with processes for active community engagement and informed consent as useful dynamic mechanisms for navigating through this contested space, while enabling adaptation to climate change. Success depends on strengthening underlying enabling conditions, including governance, capacity, local empowerment, effective monitoring, and sustainable financial support. Implementing the Theory of Change requires ongoing monitoring and evaluation to inform adaptation and build confidence in the model. Overall, the model provides a flexible and practical framework that can be adapted to dynamic local socio-ecological contexts.
... Again, it is evident the interest of communities to recover plant resources that they use and depend on in their daily lives. The bias might also be influenced by assumptions about unassisted return of animals to sites under restoration (Cross et al. 2020), the difficulty of managing and reintroducing wild animal populations (Bard 2002;Rodriguez et al. 2003;Lindsey et al. 2013), and governmental restoration goals that mainly target reforestation (Carabias et al. 2007;Cervantes et al. 2008). Still, many monitoring activities focused on animals as direct indicators to track the restoration success as they possess economic, social, cultural, educational, and ecological values, respond to environmental changes, and have been proven useful for assessing restoration outcomes (McComb et al. 2010;Ortega-Alvarez & Lindig-Cisneros 2012). ...
Environmental restoration success depends on the involvement of local communities, from the co-design of projects to their execution and follow up. Nonetheless, community-based restoration has been poorly assessed and is frequently not incorporated into planning of institutional programs. Based on an online questionnaire addressing rural and indigenous communities involved in restoration projects across Mexico, we explored the local perceptions of restoration efforts, the main characteristics of actors' responsibilities in projects, benefits and limitations of activities, and recommendations for performing community-based programs. Results showed communities have an active participation from the assessment of goals to implementation of activities. Restoration is an important activity to generate revenues, recover the use of natural resources, and foster conservation. Most projects considered local knowledge, but were performed for a short-term and constrained by funding. Restoration activities mainly focused on vegetation recovery, while animals were widely used for monitoring progress of actions. Our results suggest that communities are no longer involved as mere labor forces, but have an active role as critical decision makers in all process stages and in providing recommendations to enhance joint efforts with other stakeholders. Still, according to the literature review of Mexican restoration projects that contextualized our findings, less than 6% of the publications reported the incorporation of communities into restoration projects. This highlights the relevance of our work to portray community-restoration and emphasizes the importance to promote collective responses to sustainably manage natural resources, while strengthening a collaborative restoration agenda with communities, which is critical to enhance restoration success worldwide. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
... Many African countries have responded to biodiversity declines that are tied to wild meat hunting by establishing and enforcing regulations that ban or permit hunting (Lindsey, Havemann et al., 2013), which differ in policy and implementation from the legal harvest of meat produced and managed on ranches and communal lands in southern Africa (Funston et al., 2013;Lindsey, Balme et al., 2013). As there is growing evidence of the threat that unsustainable wild meat hunting poses to biodiversity in African savannas, there is need for concerted efforts to research dynamics of wild meat hunting and consumption in savanna ecosystems, as well as the interventions aimed to mitigate associated impacts (van Velden et al., 2018; van Velden, Travers et al., 2020). ...
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Biodiversity conservation depends on influencing human behaviors, but when activities are illegal or otherwise sensitive, e.g. because the behavior in question is taboo to a particular society, actors can be hesitant to admit engagement with illicit behaviors. We applied Specialized Questioning Techniques (SQT) to estimate and compare the behavioral prevalence of giraffe meat consumption from 2017 to 2019 in northern Kenya, Laikipia and Samburu County, between direct questioning and two SQTs: Randomized Response Technique (RRT) and Unmatched Count Technique (UCT). Comparisons between the two samples (2017 and 2019) yielded significant differences across all three methods, with confidence intervals distinctly divergent between years. The significant disparity between the two samples for all three methods suggests that there was a true reduction in giraffe meat usage in our study area, from 2017 to 2019. A key change in the study area between the two time periods was the introduction of a community-based program for giraffe conservation. Primary program activities, including ecological monitoring, community outreach and education, and collaboration with wildlife security teams, align with other conservation programs that have demonstrated reduced poaching pressures. This study demonstrates an application of SQTs to detect a decline of giraffe meat consumption, providing an alternative to self-reported data for monitoring sensitive behaviors related to direct exploitation and illegal uses of wildlife.
... Infant stages of tourism development can be traced back to the 1980s, when the center of military conflicts shifted westward, away from Zambezi. Since the 1970s, more and more trophy hunters had come to Central Namibia, as an increasing number of cattle farms specialized in game breeding for tourist purposes (Lindsey et al. 2013). These farmers advocated for a change of legislation, which resulted in the Nature Conservation Ordinance (No. 4 of 1975) that transferred the right to benefit from and utilize wildlife to farm owners. ...
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The emergence of new regional paths is a key topic in economic geography. While new paths are largely associated with positive regional economic outcomes, little is known about how the formation of a new industry affects other parts of the regional economy. By linking recent conceptual advancements on early path formation and interpath relationships, this article develops a framework for studying how path creation, as a result of diverse resource formation processes, can cause reformation processes of existing industries. The value of the framework is illustrated in a case study on the tourism path formation process in the Zambezi region (Namibia) and its impacts on the agricultural sector. The findings reveal how the path formation has caused new forms of intraregional inequalities as well as novel opportunities for the existing agricultural sector depending on the interpath relationship. Beyond these case study–specific findings, the results emphasize the importance of a broader perspective that goes beyond a single new path and includes nonparticipating regional actors in the analysis. Only in this way can we understand how new path creation translates into regional economic development.
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Globally, the role of trophy hunting in wildlife conservation has been a topic of much debate. While various studies have focused on the financial contribution of trophy hunting towards wildlife conservation, little is known about whether hunting activities can protect wildlife forage resources. We examined the effect of illegal livestock grazing on wildlife habitat in operational and non-operational wildlife hunting blocks in Moyowosi-Kigosi Game Reserves (MKGR), Tanzania. We assessed whether the physical presence of hunting activities lowered illegal grazing and, thus, led to higher vegetation quality. We compared 324 samples of above-ground biomass (AGB) and grass cover between control (0.0007 cattle ha−1), moderately (0.02 cattle ha−1), and intensively (0.05 to 0.1 cattle ha−1) grazed hunting blocks. Likewise, we assessed soil infiltration, soil penetration, soil organic carbon (SOC), and soil Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium (N-P-K) across grazing intensity. Illegal grazing decreased AGB by 55%, grass cover by 36%, soil penetration by 46%, and infiltration rate by 63% compared to the control blocks. Illegal grazing further lowered SOC by 28% (F2,33 = 8, p < 0.002) but increased soil N by 50% (F2,33 = 32.2, p < 0.001) and soil K by 56% (H (2) = 23.9, p < 0.001), while soil P remained stable. We further examined if Hunting Company (HC) complements anti-poaching efforts in the Game Reserves (GR). We found that HC contributes an average of 347 worker-days−1 for patrol efforts, which is 49% more than the patrol efforts conducted by the GR. However, patrol success is higher for GR than HC (F1,21 = 116, p < 0.001), due to constant surveillance by HC, illegal herders avoided invading their hunting blocks. We conclude that illegal grazing severely reduced vegetation and soil quality in MKGR. We further claim that trophy hunting contributes directly to wildlife habitat preservation by deploying constant surveillance and preventing illegal grazing. We propose maintaining trophy hunting as an essential ecological tool in wildlife conservation.
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Reversing biodiversity loss is a global imperative that requires setting aside sufficient space for species. In South Africa, an estimated area of 20 million ha is under wildlife ranching, a form of private land enterprise that adopts wildlife-based land uses for commercial gain. This land has potential to contribute towards biodiversity conservation, but the extent to which this occurs has not been evaluated. Using structured questionnaires of 226 wildlife ranchers, we assessed how the sector contributes towards the conservation of ungulates and elephants (hereafter herbivores). Overall, 40 herbivore species were present across the sample, where individual ranches had a mean of 15.0 (± 4.8) species, 1.9 (± 1.5) threatened species, and 3.6 (± 3.1) extralimital species per property. In comparison to 54 state PAs, wildlife ranches had significantly higher species richness, more threatened species but more extralimital species when property/reserve size was controlled for. Ranches conducting trophy hunting had similar species richness and numbers of extralimital species per ha, but fewer threatened species when compared to ranches conducting ecotourism. We estimate that 4.66–7.25 million herbivores occur on ranches nationally, representing one of the few examples on earth where indigenous mammal populations are thriving and demonstrating how sustainable use can lead to rewilding. We discuss the potential negative impacts of widespread game fencing on landscape fragmentation and gene flow, as well as how the widespread occurrence of extralimital species may lead to hybridisation, biotic homogenisation, and changes to vegetation dynamics. Despite these challenges, commercial wildlife ranching offers a viable option for conserving large mammalian herbivore biodiversity.
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This paper shows how land and wealth are linked in Namibia. Historical examples of how white, commercial landowners used favourable economic, legal, and political conditions to make profit from land show how this accumulation of capital has been, to this day, a hindrance to a more equal society. Since Namibia's independence in 1990, new and diverse ways of assigning value to land have also emerged on communal land in circumstances of growing market competition. In short, we will show how past and present developments in Namibia created opportunities to make money out of land, leading to the accumulation of wealth in the hands of a few.
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Focusing on the case of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in southern Africa - and spe- cifi cally Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe - this paper explores the economic, social and political trade-offs arising from different scenarios for gaining market access and managing and controlling FMD in support of beef production in southern Africa. A central question is: does the current approach, premised on the ability to separate a 'disease free' commercial sector from areas at high risk of FMD outbreaks because of the presence or proximity of wildlife (African buffalo particularly) through strictly enforced protection (formerly known as 'buffer') zones and movement control, make sense given new contexts and challenges? Are there other alternatives that benefi t a wider group of producers, ensure food-safe trade, and are easier to implement, yet maintain access to important export markets and so foreign exchange revenues? Following an examination of the new contexts of dis- ease dynamics and livestock trade in southern Africa, the paper explores a series of scenarios for market access including: trade with the European Union; direct exports to large retailers; export to emerging markets, particularly Asia; regional trade in southern Africa and domestic urban and rural markets. Given this assessment, the paper then asks: what makes most sense for the control and management of FMD in southern Africa?
This chapter is about establishing mechanisms that price wildlife, how these mechanisms work and how they can be valuable for promoting economic development and conservation simultaneously. It uses several examples, mainly from Zimbabwe, to describe how wildlife was converted from a public good with little or even a negative value to landholders, into a private good which landholders or communities have a positive incentive to produce. It explains why wildlife has a comparative economic advantage and is often a better use of agriculturally marginal savannahs than more conventional livestock monocultures, and provides data from the private ranching sector in Zimbabwe to support this argument. The central assertion in the chapter is that both wildlife conservation and economic development are best served in much of savanna Africa by converting wildlife into a commercial asset. This is achieved by modifying macro-economic institutions and legislation so that mechanisms develop to ensure prices more closely reflect scarcity or value, and resources are allocated more efficiently. This would ensure that where wildlife has a comparative advantage, it would be reflected in incentive structures and landholders would produce wildlife rather than livestock which owes much of its past prominence to fiscal and environmental subsidisation.
Data derived from several sources were used to determine basic economic values for the trophy hunting industry in Namibia for the hunting season in 2000. Some 3640 trophy hunters spent 15 450 hunter-days, taking 13 310 game animals. Trophy hunting generated at least N$134 million (US$19.6 million) in direct expenditures, or gross output. Gross value added directly attributable to the industry was conservatively estimated at some N$63 million (US$9.2 million). Trophy hunting constitutes at least 14% of the total tourism sector and is a significant component of the Namibian economy. Some 24% of the income earned in the trophy hunting industry accrues to poor segments of society in the form of wages and rentals/royalties. About 21% of income generated is captured by the government, through fees and taxes. Trophy hunting is an important contributor to development. More research on the economics of the industry is needed.
Ecotourism serves as the principal revenue source for many private protected areas worldwide. We surveyed seven ecotourism-based private protected areas in South Africa to identify key attributes and challenges. The findings include: 1) the top three attractions to private reserves were the wildlife, the scenery, and the high quality accommodation / service; 2) establishing a reserve was a costly undertaking, requiring an average initial outlay of USD $4.6 million; 3) in changing from farming to wildlife-based ecotourism, employment numbers increased by a factor of 3.5, the average value of wages paid per reserve increased by a factor of 20, and the average annual salary more than quintupled from $715 to $4,064 per employee; 4) the reserves were contributing in excess of $11.3 million to the regional economy per year; 5) reserves were making a substantial contribution to biodiversity conservation; and 6) lack of support by government entities was the most pressing challenge facing reserve owners. The analysis points to ecotourism as an economically and ecologically desirable alternative to other land uses, while also highlighting the need for governments to provide assistance and support for both the establishment and management of private reserves.