Namibia: Tourism Ministry Commits to the Protection of Feral Horses

The Ministry of Environment and Tourism has released their Wild Horse Management Plan, which provides objectives and guidelines for the management of the wild horses living in the Namib Naukluft Park and the Tsau //Khaeb (Sperrgebiet) National Park.

According to the report, while the horses lack the conservation status of wild animals, they are recognised as of value to both tourism - as part of Namibia's cultural heritage - and as a means for local communities to generate income through concessions.

The report further recognises the integrity of the population is essential for the long-term survival of the herd.

The Ministry has committed to finding ways to sustainably manage conflict between the horses and hyena population, which might entail patrolling the area to scare the hyena away or even erecting a hyena-proof fence. More road signs will also be erected to warn motorists to slow down as the horses often graze on the road verge and regularly cross the road.

The Ministry has recommended continual monitoring of the horse population to ensure the carrying capacity of the Garub area is ecologically maintained. The Garub area is to be zoned as "Managed Resource Use Zone" thus allowing for concessions as well as allowing for mitigating actions to help the horses in times of severe drought and predation threat. The horses are however to remain in the area and no custodianship or removal to a sanctuary will be considered.

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