Thursday, March 05, 2015

Groundwater exploration Techniques and Well Field Delineation Techniques

Invitation to Training Workshop

 Date: 13-17 April 2015 (1 week duration)

Given the growing and vital importance of groundwater resource around the world, as well as its scarcity, we need to do everything possible to improve the finding, management and preservation of this essential and scarce resource. To reduce the risk of a dry hole and maximize the chances of ending up with sufficient groundwater, it is highly advisable to locate it as precisely as possible and assess its quantity and quality before undertaking costly drilling work and thus avoid costly failures.
The workshop will focus on the modern techniques of Well Fields delineation and groundwater exploration. Topics to be covered include the following:
·Surveying (Exploration)
·Construction of abstraction systems
·Design, construction, operation and optimization of monitoring networks
·GIS in hydrogeology (general aspects of GIS, representation of maps, boreholes, time series and 3D-units, applications of GIS for geomorphology, hydro geological reconnaissance and water management).

Practicals and field trips are involved in this workshop.
FEES PER WORKSHOP:  P4500.00 per participant
The cost of P4500 per participant covers tuition, course material, field trips, lunches, morning and afternoon tea as well as certificate upon completion of the short course. Participants are responsible for their own travel, accommodation and subsistence. There are many guest houses and lodges around the University main campus.
Facilitators:        Prof. B.F. Alemaw – University of Botswana
                           Prof. N.T. Taffesse- Mekele University
                           Dr. T.R. Chaoka – University of Botswana

Applications are to be sent to:
The Head,
Department of Geology (Attn: Dr. Z. Bagai, Tel. 3552534; mobile: 75941359; emails: or or Prof. B.F. Alemaw, Tel. 3552539 email:
Private Bag UB 00704, Gaborone;
Fax: 3554453
Departmental direct line (Ms Tebogo Boakye-Siaw @ 355 2529) or Ms Gobonamang Mothobi @3552529
Closing date for applications: 10th April, 2015

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

World’s protected natural areas receive eight billion visits a year

The world’s national parks and nature reserves receive around eight billion visits every year, according to the first study into the global scale of nature-based tourism in protected areas. The paper, by researchers in Cambridge, UK, Princeton, New Jersey, and Washington, DC, published in the open access journal PLOS Biology, is the first global-scale attempt to answer the question of how many visits protected areas receive, and what they might be worth in terms of tourist dollars.

The authors of the study say that this number of visits could generate as much as US$600 billion of tourism expenditure annually - a huge economic benefit which vastly exceeds the less than US$10 billion spent safeguarding these sites each year. Scientists and conservation experts describe current global expenditure on protected areas as “grossly insufficient”, and have called for greatly increased investment in the maintenance and expansion of protected areas – a move which this study shows would yield substantial economic return – as well as saving incalculably precious natural landscapes and species from destruction.

“It’s fantastic that people visit protected areas so often, and are getting so much from experiencing wild nature – it’s clearly important to people and we should celebrate that,” said lead author Professor Andrew Balmford, from Cambridge University’s Department of Zoology.

“These pieces of the world provide us with untold benefits: from stabilising the global climate and regulating water flows to protecting untold numbers of species. Now we’ve shown that through tourism nature reserves contribute in a big way to the global economy – yet many are being degraded through encroachment and illegal harvesting, and some are being lost altogether.”

Read more:

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

World Wildlife Day: 3 March 2015

The United Nations is highlighting the intrinsic values and contributions of wild animals and plants, particularly endangered and protected species, by devoting 3 of March as ‘World Wildlife Day.’ 

 "While the threats to wildlife are great, we can reduce them through our collective efforts. On this inaugural World Wildlife Day, I urge all sectors of society to end illegal wildlife trafficking and commit to trading and using wild plants and animals sustainably and equitably"
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moo

World Wildlife Day is an opportunity to celebrate the many beautiful and varied forms of wild fauna and flora and to raise awareness of the multitude of benefits that conservation provides to people. At the same time, the Day reminds us of the urgent need to step up the fight against wildlife crime, which has wide-ranging economic, environmental and social impacts. Wildlife has an intrinsic value and contributes to the ecological, genetic, social, economic, scientific, educational, cultural, recreational and aesthetic aspects of sustainable development and human well-being. For these reasons, all member States, the United Nations system and other international organizations, as well as civil society, non-governmental organizations and individuals, are invited to observe and to get involved in this global celebration of wildlife.

The secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), in collaboration with other relevant United Nations organizations, facilitates the implementation of World Wildlife Day.

Monday, March 02, 2015

EU initiative to counteract African wildlife crisis

African wildlife is facing an unprecedented crisis. Currently, about 5,000 African flora and fauna species, which represents 27% of all species assessed on the continent, are listed on the IUCN Red List threatened with extinction. The main threats to African wildlife are weak governance, poaching and wildlife trafficking, and the loss of habitats through land conversion and climate change. In addition, wild species are used unsustainably for purposes such as firewood and bushmeat.

 The European Commission is developing a Wildlife Conservation Strategy (Larger than Elephants: Inputs for the design of an EU Strategic Approach to Wildlife Conservation in Africa) to counteract this crisis, and has invited input from stakeholders at a recently organised conference. The meeting gathered over 150 experts from Europe, Africa from both governmental and intergovernmental institutions as well as non-governmental organizations.

Read more:

Friday, February 27, 2015


THEME: Natural Resource Research: Implication for management and conservation

Dates:             17th – 19th March 2015

Venue:            Botswana Wildlife Training Institute, Maun, Botswana.

Natural resources research should inform action, conservation and management, and as such studies should seek to produce knowledge that is applicable outside of the research setting, with implications for policy and project implementation. Botswana is a large country with low human population densities. Extensive wilderness areas support high densities of natural resources, and Botswana is one of the last refuges of species requiring open range. As a result Botswana still remains a stronghold for some of the world’s globally threatened species, such as the African elephant, wild dog and others. While the distribution of natural resources in Botswana is fairly well documented, there are still knowledge gaps in their management and conservation status, including threats and challenges. It is therefore important for research and planning, in Botswana and other countries with similar conditions, to draw attention to the importance. and the sustainable use, of natural resources.  The symposium aims at improving our understanding of natural resources dynamics by exploring all facets of variability and change in ecosystems as well as their management and conservation around the world. Furthermore, the Symposium will review existing knowledge and present the most recent research findings on ecosystem dynamics and management options.
The general objective of the Symposium is to provide an open forum for the exchange of views among natural resources professionals, academics and practitioners regarding the implication of research findings on management and conservation of natural resources.

Specific objectives are:

·         To understand flora and fauna responses to the dynamics and heterogeneity of biogeochemical processes and primary production.

·         To determine appropriate management and conservation regimes of natural resources for sustainable utilisation.

·         To assess the economic and ecological value of natural resources to inform policy and planning.

·         To assess the linkages between the dynamics of ecosystem services and human well-being

·         To examine how human activities (e.g. mining, agriculture, water diversion/ abstraction) affect ecosystem processes and functions.

·         To explore how research findings can effectively influence management and conservation of natural resources

Papers are invited on the sub-themes outlined and others falling within the scope of the Conference.

Sub-theme 1: Ecosystem Dynamics

Ecological processes occur at landscape scale and it is increasingly apparent that these processes determine the health and status of the landscapes and their dependant wildlife populations.  The resulting mosaic of high and low herbivore densities and the associated seasonal movements shape the carnivore guild. Here the focus is on the vegetation and wildlife ecology of wetlands, including material and energy flows, productive functions, interactions and variation. Within this sub-theme, then, we are looking for contributions which deal with ecological processes from succession in plant communities through to migrations of animals and birds. This sub-theme includes a variety of topics including: Wetlands Hydrology, Biogeochemical cycling, vegetation and wildlife ecology, and Energy flow and how these processes and functions are affected by climate change.

Sub-them 2: Managing Ecosystems

This theme addresses issues and debates related to management of natural resources which are generally characterized by diverse exploitation gears, have various (and sometimes competing) uses, and diverse species assemblages in a highly variable environment. One of the key questions facing these is to determine the most appropriate management regime of natural resources in order to derive maximum benefits from them.  The theme will include topics such as Trans Frontier conservation, Managing natural resources, Governance of natural resources, Monitoring of natural resources, evaluation of management practices (e.g. translocation, compensations, fire, waterholes)

Sub-theme 3: People and Ecosystems

Ecosystem services (ESS) are defined by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment as the benefits obtained by people from ecosystems. These services are categorized into four main types of provisioning, cultural, regulating, and supporting services. As a result of human activities, wetlands ESS are being depleted at an alarming rate, worldwide. Changes in ESS adversely affect human well-being through reduced supply of the basic needs. The adverse impacts on ESS tend to affect the poor more than the rich as they are more vulnerable. In sub-Saharan Africa, the well-being of the poor is adversely affected by the depletion of provisioning services as they are more dependent on them for their survival. The depletion of regulating and supporting services may also increase the transmission of diseases. This sub-theme will therefore address the linkages between the dynamics of ESS and well-being in wetland areas. The subtheme will include topics like ecosystem services and human well-being, economic values of ecosystem services, Community Based Natural Resources management (CBNRM), sustainable Tourism, human Wildlife Interactions and anthropogenic impacts on ecosystems.
Sub-theme 4: Game Ranching: A conservation tool or threat?

Game farming grew to a multi-million rand industry in South Africa. In the process large tracts of land converted from livestock to wildlife. It provides potential for conservation but at the same time pose conservation challenges as well. A key question is what lessons did South Africa learn that can benefit Botswana?  In this sub-theme we are looking at contributions to elucidate both sides of the coin. From a genetic viewpoint the challenge ranges from inbreeding of small populations to mixing of gene pools and interbreeding of species (e.g. black wildebeest and blue wildebeest). Topics include: the challenges to manage wildlife populations on game farms, contribution to endangered species conservations, Conservation risks, genetics, and distribution of species beyond their ecological range, balancing economic and ecological costs and benefits, role of game ranching to tourism

In addition to the sub-themes above there will be five round table discussions on selected critical management issues and one special event.

Round table discussion topics

1.      Game ranching

2.      Human wildlife Co-existence

3.      Translocation

4.      Okavango Delta as a world heritage site – Implication for management and conservation

Special event

1.      Launch of the Department of Wildlife and National Parks Research Strategy

Conference outputs

The conference will produce the following outputs

1.        A book of abstracts

2.        A published conference proceedings through a peer reviewed process available to the international community

3.        A policy brief summarizing key research-based recommendations for policy and decision-making for addressing key natural resource management issues and related challenges

4.        A journal special issue on Natural Resources Research: Implication for management and conservation

For more details Contact:

Ms. Chimbi Leutlwetse

Okavango Research Institute

P/bag 285


Tel: +267 6817275/7220


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Make or break year for South Africa’s rhinos after poaching hits record high

Despite increased efforts to tackle the surge in rhino poaching, a record of 1215 rhinos were killed in South Africa in 2014 – highlighting the need for urgent international action to address the crisis ahead of a critical global meeting on illegal wildlife trade in Botswana in March. Figures released  by the South African government show that over 100 rhinos were illegally killed on average each month in 2014 – representing a 21% increase over the 1004 animals poached in 2013.

 “Killing on this scale shows how rhino poaching is being increasingly driven by organised criminal syndicates. The country’s brave rangers are doing all they can on the ground to protect rhinos but only a concerted global effort can stop this illegal trade. This includes South Africa scaling up its efforts to stop wildlife trafficking and Viet Nam taking urgent measures to stop illegal use of wildlife products including rhino horn,” said Elisabeth McLellan, WWF Head, Wildlife Crime Initiative.

Read more on:

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

New Arrivals in ORI Library

Mammals of Africa (Volumes 1-6)

Mammals of Africa (MoA) is a series of six volumes which describes, in detail, every currently recognized species of African land mammal. Each volume follows the same format, with detailed profiles of every species and higher taxa. The series includes some 660 colour illustrations by Jonathan Kingdon and his many drawings highlight details of morphology and behaviour of the species concerned. Diagrams, schematic details and line drawings of skulls and jaws are by Jonathan Kingdon and Meredith Happold. Every species also includes a detailed distribution map. Extensive references alert readers to more detailed information.

Volume I: Introductory Chapters and Afrotheria (352 pages)
Volume II: Primates (560 pages)
Volume III: Rodents, Hares and Rabbits (784 pages)
Volume IV: Hedgehogs, Shrews and Bats (800 pages)
Volume V: Carnivores, Pangolins, Equids and Rhinoceroses (560 pages)
Volume VI: Pigs, Hippopotamuses, Chevrotain, Giraffes, Deer and Bovids (704 pages)

Mammals of Africa Volume I: Introductory Chapters and Afrotheria comprises eight introductory chapters covering topics such as evolution, geography and geology, biotic zones, classification, behaviour and morphology. The rest of Mammals of Africa Volume I: Introductory Chapters and Afrotheria is devoted to the Afrotheria, a grouping that comprises six orders and 49 species; these are the hyraxes, elephants, dugong, manatees, otter-shrews, golden-moles, sengis (elephant-shrews) and aardvark.

Mammals of Africa Volume II: Primates is devoted to the order Primates, and includes the great apes, Old World monkeys, lorisids and galagos. Using the taxonomy adopted for Mammals of Africa, the four families represented comprise 25 genera and 93 species. A new species of monkey described in 2011 brings the total to 94, and this is briefly mentioned. Approximately 8% of Africa's species of mammal are primates.

Mammals of Africa Volume III: Rodents, Hares and Rabbits contains profiles of 395 species of rodents, comprising the squirrels, dormice, jerboas, blind mole-rats, African root-rats, pouched rats and mice, swamp mouse, climbing mice, fat mice, white-tailed rat, rock mice, voles, maned rat, spiny mice, brush-furred mice, gerbils, jirds, taterils, African forest mouse, rats and mice, vleirats, whistling rats, anomalures, springhares, gundis, African mole-rats, porcupines, noki (dassie rat), cane rats, and coypu. Mammals of Africa Volume III: Rodents, Hares and Rabbits concludes with 13 species of hares and rabbits.

Mammals of Africa Volume IV: Hedgehogs, Shrews and Bats profiles 156 species of insectivores, comprising the hedgehogs and shrews. The rest of Mammals of Africa Volume IV: Hedgehogs, Shrews and Bats is devoted to the 224 species of African bats. The latter are divided into nine families, namely fruit bats, horseshoe bats, leaf-nosed bats, false vampire bats, mouse-tailed bats, sheath-tailed bats, slit-faced bats, free-tailed bats, and vesper bats.

Mammals of Africa Volume V: Carnivores, Pangolins, Equids and Rhinoceroses comprises 83 species of carnivores, and includes jackals, wolves, dogs, foxes, weasels, polecats, striped weasels, zorilla, otters, ratel, fur seals, monk seals, palm civet, cats, genets, linsangs, African civet, hyaenas, aardwolf, and mongooses. Mammals of Africa Volume V: Carnivores, Pangolins, Equids and Rhinoceroses is completed with profiles of four pangolins, four zebras, and two rhinoceroses.

Mammals of Africa Volume VI: Pigs, Hippopotamuses, Chevrotain, Giraffes, Deer and Bovids, the last volume in Mammals of Africa, comprises a single order, currently subdivided into three suborders, containing the pigs, hippopotamuses, chevrotains, giraffe, okapi, deer, buffalos, spiral-horned antelopes, dwarf antelopes, duikers, grysboks, beira, dik-diks, gazelles, klipspringer, oribi, reduncines, impala, alcelaphines, horse-like antelopes, sheep, and goats; Mammals of Africa Volume VI: Pigs, Hippopotamuses, Chevrotain, Giraffes, Deer and Bovids contains 98 species profiles.