TOSCO supports various recognized scientists who make contributions to Namibian conservation
The Desert Lion Conservation Trust (DLCT), led by Dr. Philip Stander, is a small non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of desert-adapted lions in Northern Namib. The DLCT researches lion population, behavior, biology and their survival adaptations in order to collaborate with other conservation bodies to reduce human-lion conflict, elevate the tourism value of lions, and contribute to the conservation of the species. Since 2012, TOSCO has supported DLCT by sponsoring satellite collars, camera traps and to cover general operation costs, such as the upgrade of the scientific Mowe Bay base camp.dination support.
The Skeleton Coast Brown Hyena Project is led by Dr. Emsie Verwey, who is also the Wilderness Safaris Field-Based Research Coordinator at Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp. The project is conducting the first official density survey, using camera traps, for brown hyaenas in Namibia’s Skeleton Coast National Park, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT). This will help to close the gap on the scarcity of studies conducted on brown hyaenas of north-western Namibia, and contribute to the Red Data Book on carnivores, as well as to range maps (last updated in 1998) compiled by the IUCN Hyaena Specialist Group for spotted hyena, aardwolf, brown hyaena and striped hyena. TOSCO has supported the Skeleton Coast Brown Hyena Project with a GPS collar.
The Kwando Carnivore Project is led by Dr. Lise Hansen and is based in the Zambezi Region which is central to the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA). The overall aim of the KCP is the conservation of large carnivores through applied research and human wildlife conflict mitigation, as well as improving the livelihoods of communities, protection of habitat and wildlife corridors. Over the years, TOSCO has supported KCP with infrared camera traps, protection boxes and solar panels as well as financial support towards the upkeep of the project vehicle.
The Namibian Dolphin Project (NDP), co-directed by Dr Simon Elwen and Dr Tess Gridley, conducts research on whales, coastal dolphins and turtles in Namibian waters. They focus on gathering baseline population level data, including abundance, behaviour and distribution of marine mammals and turtles to assess their conservation status. The NDP also aims to promote the conservation of wildlife and the natural integrity of areas of ecological importance through educational projects with the marine tourism industry (by providing feedback about dolphin populations and training on best practice methods for marine tourism (MarWiSe), schools and the wider public. In 2018, TOSCO sponsored the construction of the Namibian Dolphin Project’s Marine Environmental office. More recently, TOSCO organised a fundraising campaign to enable the NDP to acquire a new vehicle.
Snake Conservation of Namibia (SCAN) The Snake Conservation Association of Namibia (SCAN), directed by Francois Theart, is a voluntary organization which was founded in February 2016 by enthusiasts with an interest and experience in the preservation of snake species in Namibia. Their mission is to promote reptile research and conservation in Namibia by raising awareness, collecting data and mitigating human-snake conflict. TOSCO has supported SCAN since its inception with equipment, such as tubes and buckets used in the rescuing and measurement of snakes. In 2018, TOSCO supported SCAN with N$ 3,500 which was used to purchase one snake tracker and transmitters for research on zebra snake translocation. More recently, TOSCO has helped SCAN organise snake identification and handling workshops and sponsored an LCD projector and screen to the total value of N$ 7,500.
Desert Elephant Conservation, founded in 2006, is a collaboration between two scientists Dr. Rob R. Ramey II and Dr. Laura M. Brown, a Namibian NGO (IRDNC - Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation), and community members. Their aim is to mitigate the causes of individual mortality and ensure the long-term survival of desert elephants by understanding their population structure and behaviour. They also aim to reduce human-elephant conflict, foster a greater understanding and appreciation of the desert-adapted elephants of Namibia and provide science-based guidance and support to local conservancies and MEFT in their management decision-making.The project is founded on scientific research that spans four decades and builds on the community-based natural resource management programme that is a cornerstone of conservation in Namibia. TOSCO aids DEC with running costs such as field, vehicle, fuel and laboratory expenses, community education and outreach activities.
The Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) was founded in 1990, their vision is to see a world in which wildlife live and flourish in coexistence with people within a sustainable system that is protective of the environment, and economically viable. Their African Wild Dogs satellite project, led by CCF Community Coordinator Nadja LeRoux, monitors the Otjozondjupa wild dog population which is highly persecuted and lives outside of a protected area. This population however plays a vital role, with young dispersal dogs moving into KAZA and diversifying vital genetics to the species, contributing to the long term survival of these threatened carnivores. The project’s goals are to identify African wild dog packs in the area, identify den sites and implement den protection, identify pertinent conservation issues, investigate and implement potential solutions to conflict and benefits to affected communities, monitor trends in African Wild Dog ecology over time in a highly persecuted population and understand dispersal patterns of African Wild Dogs into other key populations and KAZA. TOSCO sponsored field equipment including a cell phone network booster to the African Wild Dogs Satellite Project to enable them to carry out their work in remote areas where communication is vital yet limited by network access. InterMuc Leopard Project (University of Ljubljana in Slovenia; Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research of Berlin (IZW)) Ruben Portas from the University of Ljubljana and the Leibniz Institute for Wildlife Research of Berlin is carrying out research on kill sites and leopard hunting behaviour in the Khomas-Hochland mountains. The study aims to understand inter-specific and intra-specific interactions among felids, as well as to gain novel insights into several other aspects of their ecology. The research takes place in the Khomas-Hochland mountains in collaboration with the Auas Oanob Conservancy. His research will be very informative for farmers in the Khomas region. The camera traps are powered by rechargeable batteries donated by Vision Sales & Marketing / VARTA, through TOSCO.
Ruben Portas from the University of Ljubljana and the Leibniz Institute for Wildlife Research of Berlin is carrying out research on kill sites and leopard hunting behaviour in the Khomas-Hochland mountains. The study aims to understand inter-specific and intra-specific interactions among felids, as well as to gain novel insights into several other aspects of their ecology. The research takes place in the Khomas-Hochland mountains in collaboration with the Auas Oanob Conservancy. His research will be very informative for farmers in the Khomas region. The camera traps are powered by rechargeable batteries donated by Vision Sales & Marketing / VARTA, through TOSCO.