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Greater Etosha Carnivore Programme

The Greater Etosha Landscape (GEL) in northern-central Namibia exemplifies global conservation challenges, especially those facing large conservation landscapes, such as South Africa’s Greater Kruger NP, Tanzania’s Serengeti NP, the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in the USA and Ranthambhore NP in India. GEL comprises one of the world’s most renowned protected areas, the Etosha National Park, surrounded by a diverse matrix of land tenures and land uses, which translate into different management approaches and challenges faced by both carnivores and their human neighbours.

While large carnivore research has a long history in the Etosha landscape, changing land uses and increasing human-wildlife conflict require a detailed understanding of the drivers of carnivore fitness. The major goal of the project is to arrive at a clear understanding of the factors that drive carnivore numbers and their distribution. Particular attention will be paid to the following questions:

1) How important is disease in limiting carnivores in the GEL?
2) How can humans coexist with carnivores?
3) How do animals living at low density communicate over long distance?
4) How do waterholes shape animal ecology in this semi-arid environment?

How these factors interact has received little attention and remains poorly understood. Considering increasing human pressures on land resources and the accelerating impacts of a changing climate, we can expect these factors and their interactions to become more important and complex.

Study area:

Etosha National Park and a 40km buffer around it


Ongoing since 2021

GEL landscape.png

Species of interest

carnivores of the GEL_edited.png

Project latest news


  • Werner Kilian & Claudine Cloete, Etosha Ecological Institute

  • Marthin Kasaona, Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, Namibia

  • Bettina Watcher, Jörg Melzheimer & Rubén Portas, Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Germany

  • Ortwin Aschenborn & Mark Jago, University of Namibia, Veterinary School

  • Tammy Hoth, Namibian Lion Trust

  • James Beasley & Dipanjan Naha, University of Georgia, USA

  • Marion Valeix, Laboratoire de Biométrie et Biologie Evolutive CNRS, France

  • Simon Chamaillé-James, Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive CNRS, France

  • Matt Hayward, University of Newcastle, Australia

  • Miha Krofel, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

  • Kenneth Uiseb & Uakendisa Muzuma, Directorate of Scientific Services of the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, Namibia

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