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18 Travel Namibia Moro >> News · views · people · places · conservation · community · wildlife · culture Wildlife Wild dogs are a rare sight Wild dogs spotted at Waterberg Research in the Sperrgebiet of south- west Namibia has found that hyenas have a hunting sphere of up to 3900 square kilometers. Dr Ingrid Wiesel of The Brown Hyena Research Project has fitted thirteen brown hyenas and one spotted hyena with GPS collars. The technology is used to find out where the animals roam. Brown hyenas have a home On our way from Windhoek to Waterberg we always find a variety of antelopes and birds writes Jan Mohrdieck, a guide with Namibia Expeditions, CC Africa. On this particular day however, just 20km from our camp at Waterberg, we ran into a big surprise. At about 4.30pm, as we drove along the gravel road and dry river bed, we saw something standing in our way. At first I thought it was a spotted hyena, but this creature seemed much more slender than a hyena. Also, the colouration was completely different. Its fur had patches of brown- orange, black and white. Then it hit me – it was a wild dog. This endangered animal hasn't been seen in Waterberg for a long time. We approached slowly and managed to have a good look at it. As wild dogs live in packs, I was wondering where the others were. To the right of the road was a game fence and behind it I could see three more wild dogs. Obviously they had somehow become separated and were now trying to find a way to get back together. They trotted along the fence and we followed but, after a while, they seemed irritated by our presence, so we moved on. I assume the pack is now back together because, after a couple of kilometres, the fence ends. Historical records indicate that wild dogs were once present in all the regions and habitats of Namibia. In the last 80 years however, their range has been vastly reduced. A sighting like this is probably the result of conservation initiatives such as the Wild Dog Project. THE BROWN HYENA RESEARCH PROJECT A coast- dwelling brown hyena n Have you recently had a unusual or exciting encounter with Namibian wildlife? Travel Namibia would love to hear about it. E- mail the editor mary@ travelafricamag. com C ollared hyenas Wildlife sightings

Travel Namibia 19 NWR Hot stuff Chilli mixed withth elephant dung is being burnt in Caprivi in an unusual attempt to stop elephants straying close to farmland and villages. Dr Conrad Brain, environmental consultant to Wilderness Safaris, said: " We take wet season elephant dung – wet season because the dung is not as fibrous as dry season dung – and mix it with crushed dried chillis. We then take that mixture, wet it and press it into a brick shape and sun- dry it. Into this block we press a wine cork that we have soaked in Jet A1 fuel. " This brick can then be placed upwind from elephants and ignited. The brick smoulders away and produces a smoke that elephants can't handle. This can be used to protect lands and villages from elephant herds." Onkoshi opens W ildlife shimmering in the mirages of Etosha pan is one of Africa's iconic sights. Now, for the first time, you can wake up to those views. Onkoshi Camp in Etosha National Park is the latest upmarket lodge to be built by Namibia Wildlife Resorts. Nestled next to the rim of the pan on a secluded peninsula, Onkoshi Camp is a low- impact, environmentally- friendly establishment with fifteen rooms. The lodge's publicity promises " superb vistas over the Etosha pan, with its dramatic sunsets and sunrises; sense of isolation and space; clear night skies; and the sights, smells and sounds of untamed and unadulterated Africa". If you can drag yourself away from all that, there are guided walks of the pan and the surrounding plains, including moonlight trips. range between 200 and 3000 square kilometres. Coastal brown hyenas, which feast on seal pups, have much smaller home ranges than those living inland. The collared spotted hyena forages within a vast 3900 square kilometres in the northeastern part of the Sperrgebiet. The data from GPS collars can detect changes in hyena behaviour in areas where land is being developed. Dr Wiesel has found that hyenas usually avoid land that has been recently disturbed ( such as for mining), although some areas seem to have become an attraction to hyenas, particularly water near sewerage systems. Recently, data from the GPS collars made it possible to exclude hyenas as the culprits when livestock was killed on farms bordering the national parks. n For more information go to www. predatorconservation. com Namibia's Skeletontonton Coastoastoastoast Park has a small and isolated population of lions that has adapted to life in the harsh habitat of gravel plains and basalt mountains. Occasionally these ' desert lions' are shot or poisoned by local people because they believe they have killed cattle and donkeys. Recently The Kunene Lion Project has helped local communities organise controlled ecotourism, in particular photographic safaris. The hope is that occasional livestock losses will be better tolerated if the lions are bringing in an alternative income. The project leader, Dr Flip Stander, carried out research between the Hoaruseb and Hunkap Rivers and found three prides living around ephemeral river systems. Some of the lions were fitted with radio collars and their movements tracked and analysed from the air. On the ground this information was used to increase the likelihood of seeing the lions – they were spotted on nearly seventy per cent of research trips. By providing more information to tourist operators, the Kunene Lion Project hopes to increase the success rate of finding and approaching desert lions during game drives and thereby increase their popularity. Conservancies are setting up a ' lion fund' which will manage all income derived from lion- related tourism and compensate the relevant conservancy members when livestock losses occur. n For more information go to www. wildernesstrust. com Skeleton Coast lions Yes... those are springbok droppings w ildernessss safaris F uture tourist attraction: Kunene lions