[botswanapredatorforum] Re: Report on Setata Fence

  • From: "Mark Bing" <bing@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <botswanapredatorforum@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2008 14:00:11 +0200

Hi Pete

My opinion is that it is not a bad interim idea, till something else can be set 
in place that is a lot better than a total ban. It has its place to place a 
breathing space till a better solution is found.
The problems are twofold as I see it. In Kweneng, one of the problem areas, 
there were 48 Lion shot in a 12 month period, and between April and July 2007, 
if I am not mistaken 12 were shot South of Khutse, including 3 collared 
animals. Killing collared cats is not permitted, yet it goes on, sadly at the 
researchers expense. All Lion research in Khutse has ground to a halt, as on 
last count there were only about 6 lion left in the park, which affects tourism 
and so on. The problem is that the cattle posts around khutse, and indeed 
kaudwane Village is very close, so this is a high conflict area. In this case a 
resolution could be found i am sure from the Professional hunting community. I 
am sure that in 2 to 3 years time, the lion population may have recovered 
enough to hunt in Kweneng, and if a hunter came forward from their association 
and offered to hunt an animal or 2 in the area, and give the monies ( trophy 
fee)  to a local NGO in the area, for development, the area would be more 
tolerant to Lion. Some of this monies could go to compensation provided animals 
are herded and so on. I think the hunting community needs to be more proactive 
The second problem is the fast rush of animals ( Cheetah and Lion Cubs), that 
are going over the border to NW, from the Kalahari. Lionesses are shot, and 
cubs are captured. I have seen a person at the clinic in Verda who came off 
second best in moving a cub too large. This problem is complex, but is 
accounting for a serious sink in the cat populations in some areas. This trade 
gives a few individuals gains in the short term, but is not good long term for 
Botswana. It is a serious threat to the Transkalahari corridor.
I agree with you that poisoning becomes a problem, but since 2007 there are 
much more severe strict laws concerning use of poisons, so should anybody be 
caught indescriminantly using them, they can get a lengthy jail term. 
Unfortunately again DWNP does not police areas outside their jurisdiction ( ie 
wildlife areas), so, in Ghanzi and the hyaenaveld, probably the central range 
for breeding Lappets, poisons are used frequently, usually Temek. The bird club 
as you are aware has been debating the vulture poisoning issues, which we agree 
are serious, and we need to address the Ghanzi Farmers assn on this. I think 
there will be poisoning hotspots identified, Ghanzi, Hyaenaveld, Kweneng. And 
truthfully there has always been poison usage there. 
Now if section 46 of the national parks act were revoked, the DWNP could get a 

Farmer Education is central to the Lion Hunting ban, and the Poisoning of 
Endangered birds ( Vultures) in this case, as well as the cascade of Raptors 
like Tawnys, Bateleurs etc that get poisoned with them. There is a Rabies 
outbreak in some areas of the country at present. Rabies is disseminated 
amongst Jackal when they are shot on farms, or poisoned, and territories become 
available to fight over. On a farm where jackal are left, territories are 
stable and boundary demarkation is by scat and urine. There is very little 
fighting. Not so when Jackal are poisoned and shot. In Zimbabwe I had a 
pedigree Charolais breeder loose 9 bulls to rabies in one year, due to severe 
poisoning of Jackal on his farm. When he stopped teh practise the rabies slowly 
disappeared. This information is needed in Ghanzi, where jackel are always 
poisoned, and it is these poisonings that tend to kill lappets. 

I do not think many communal cattle post owners poison much, and the Vulture 
will tell them when animals are dieing, so they can retrieve the meat.

These are just my opinions as usual. None of these issues are easily resolved. 
DWNP needs to be more vigilant, but has little capacity, and is not really 
interested in the farming areas. Farmers often dont want to see long term 
implications to an action either. I dont think telling a ghanzi Farmer that the 
Endangered cape Vultures he just poisoned came from Namibia, and the cape would 
mean much either. He loves his cows and will exterminate all threats.

Strangely though, a farmer will vaccinate his cows for Botulism every year, and 
incur a P4000 cost in doing so, and may still loose a few. These expenses and 
losses are accepted. He may dip his herd through summer and incur a P50 000 
cost. But he will accept losses  from gall sickness, as no system is perfect. 
When it comes to losses from jackal though, he will not spend any money, and 
will blast away at all jackals seen ( just like 4 generations before him have 
done). There will be no herder or guard dog, so no expenses are incurred and 
the reaction to the jackal is greater than his reaction to botulism. ( both in 
time and money) The fact that his management preference, that is killing all 
jackal has not worked seems irrelevant. However, if a farmer chooses not to dip 
his cows every year, and looses 10% of his herd a year, and 20% due to udder 
problems, and keeps up like that for 4 generations, he would go bancrupt. He 
would change his management technique to cope with the situation. Only wish 
farmers would see predators as part of the picture with farming, like disease, 
and calving problems. Preventing losses, rather than scattering poison and 
shooting and trapping will work.

Hope this is useful Pete


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: birdlife 
  To: botswanapredatorforum@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
  Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2008 8:32 AM
  Subject: [botswanapredatorforum] Report on Setata Fence

  Hi Rebecca,


  Please could you send me a copy of the report on the proposed Setata Fence. I 
am on asdl and so shouldn’t have any problem receiving a 1.22MB file with pics 
and maps. Thank you for keeping us informed on this and other issues.


  Does the Predator Forum have a viewpoint on the lion hunting ban? At 
BirdLife, we are concerned that the ban may lead to increased poisoning of 
predators and also vultures, most of which are globally threatened. This 
happened following the previous ban a few years ago. I know it is not possible 
to keep everyone happy all the time, but would appreciate your views on the 
issue so that we know where you stand.


  Kind regards




  From: botswanapredatorforum-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
[mailto:botswanapredatorforum-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of David Mosugelo
  Sent: Monday, February 04, 2008 2:13 PM
  To: botswanapredatorforum@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  Subject: [botswanapredatorforum] Re: Fw: Report on Setata Fence


  Hello Rebecca


  Happy New Year! Could you please send me a copy with maps! I’d be very 







  From: botswanapredatorforum-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
[mailto:botswanapredatorforum-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Rebecca Klein
  Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2008 11:55 AM
  To: botswanapredatorforum@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  Subject: [botswanapredatorforum] Fw: Report on Setata Fence


  Dear all, 

  Happy New Year!

  Ive been asked to circulate this report on the proposed Setata Fence to the 
Predator Forum. 

  All pictures have been removed due to size. If you would like a copy of the 
document with maps send me an email and I'll send onto you. It is 1.22MB in 

  This development is of great concern and we would welcome any comments! 
Please forward to anyone who may benefit from this information.


  Best wishes for 2008.



  Cheetah Conservation Botswana

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