The game guards

Someone needs to take care of the wildlife on communal land; this includes the monitoring, patrolling of wildlife and other resources and making sure the anti- poaching rule is being obeyed. The people who do this are normally referred as the community game guards or the shepherds of the community.

They also take on other duties like joint ventures with environment and tourist officials. Game guards should also have knowledge on how to maintain the event book; the event book is a field based monitoring system used in all communal conservancies of Namibia 

Game guards should have good knowledge on the conservancy they are in and know the animals in that are in the area. They have extensive knowledge on the laws on rules in their conservancy and make sure that people abide by them.   

Game guards have good relationships with the people with and outside the community because the serve as middle man as they can help advice farmers on how to reduce human- wildlife conflict. 

The work game guards do is important, for children to have knowledge on what the work game guards do is vital this way they will be able to see wildlife in the future on communal land and know how to live with wildlife.

Communicate like a ranger

On patrol you might encounter dangerous animals and it is important to know what to do.

When on patrol it’s good for rangers to know all safety and communication methods when coming across another dangerous wild animals the first thing you have to do is make the sign of silence. Everybody must keep quiet this is done not to distress the animal. After that indicate/show that a dangerous animal have been spotted so others are notified to be careful. Finally try to gather everyone at one place. 

Moving in silence is always good as you need to be aware and alert of your surroundings.  There is also a sign to indicate that you have spotted footprints, you will follow the footprints until you spot the Rhino and indicate with your hands that a Rhino has been spotted.   

According to a theory when a rhino is running towards you they can run up to 40km/h it is best to move aside and take cover as rhino are partially blind animals and cannot see properly.  

Did you know the duties of a lion ranger? 

  • Ambassadors of the lions 
  • Lion Rangers inform, train and educate the community about the lions in the surroundings. They act as a middle man between the lions and the community.
  • Lion Rangers anticipate and solve human –lion conflict, they reduce livestock killed and avoid lions being killed by farmers. 
  • They increase the flow of benefits to communities. Rangers can work with tourist officials to show areas where you can find lions.
  • Lion rangers use the early warning system to track the lions and inform communities where the lions are to protect the livestock or relocate the lion to another area if the lions are close to the livestock zone.  

Written by Jennifer Ilukena

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