HWC research and mitigation strategies have been highlighted as important activities by the Government of Botswana’s Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP)’s. The research that we will be undertaking feeds directly into the management and research objectives of the DWNP and we will be working in hand with them on the ground.
The region where we will be focusing our first project, is in the Chobe Enclave. This dynamic concession lies within the Chobe National Park and Chobe Forest Reserve, with the Linyanti and Chobe River creating its northern boundary with Namibia. This area is zoned as an agricultural, pastoral and wildlife management area bringing with it human-wildlife conflict at its most complex. This important wildlife corridor has a number of small communities residing in it and elephant, lion, leopard, hyena and other wildlife species utilising the area heavily impact them. Wildlife ACT assists in an on-going human-wildlife conflict study run by the University of Botswana and the Okavango Research Institute. This includes predictive mapping in assistance with mitigation strategies, as well as on the ground “intervention” methods. While the area boasts rich biodiversity and wildlife, they are commonly nervous, as they come under much persecution from poachers and revengeful farmers. Please note that we do not work with collared animals in this area. We encourage research students who would like to contribute to the essential and valuable work here, if this is a field that interests you.
Any registered students are welcome to join us as we perform this valuable research in partnership with the University of Botswana. This will involve working in a unique environment with high wildlife densities collecting data in a number of various ways, including distance sampling surveys, camera trapping, wildlife behavioural observations, point sampling and interviews with community members. Students will gain valuable experience in all aspects of field research techniques and be able to add this vital experience to their CVs enhancing their employability in the future and provide them with added recognition when applying for entrance to postgraduate courses, which can often provide that much needed competitive advantage.
Undergrad Student Projects – Botswana & South Africa
From a student perspective the field of monitoring offers a bounty of opportunities for data collection, whether it be from as simple as recording a location and noting the surrounding habitat through to dung collection and DNA analyses. Wildlife ACT would be able to assist you in developing a research project and application to the Department of Wildlife and National Parks. Students and researchers could ask for access to previous information collected before they arrived, so as to enhance their data set and projects. The depth of this can be discussed and formulated by the students with Wildlife ACT’s lead researcher, Dr. Simon Morgan, to ensure meaningful wildlife conservation projects are developed.
Experiential Learning Modules – Botswana
As part of many course requirements students often need to perform a practical experiential learning module in the field. We offer the perfect environment for this, where you will be able to partake in practical scientific fieldwork while learning conservation techniques and how best to apply them. This will mean working in a unique environment with high wildlife densities collecting data in a number of various ways, including distance sampling surveys, wildlife behavioural observations and point sampling. Wildlife ACT’s lead researcher in Botswana, Dr. Simon Morgan, will be able to communicate with course conveners at your university to establish learning objectives for your experiential learning modules should this be necessary.
This type of experiential learning
- allows you to gain expertise and experience in a particular role or occupation
- allows you to apply academic subject knowledge in a work setting
- develops practical, work-related skills such as project management, decision making and teamwork
- provides opportunities to learn about graduate employment and enhance your employability.
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