Conservation priorities and management recommendations for the Erongo Region Coastal Zone, Namibia

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

The most intensively used part of the Namib Coastline, the area between Walvis Bay and the Ugab river, contains some of the most important and most sensitive natural habitats. Apart from their ecological value, these habitats also attract large numbers of tourists. Tourism is one of the main sources of income in the coastal area of the Erongo Region, therefore it is in the interest of Namibians that these habitats are utilised in a sustainable way. The Department of Resource Conservation of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism is responsible for managing the West Coast Tourist Recreation Area as well as the wildlife in all of Namibia. Conservation managers from this Department have identified sites in the study area that are important for maintaining healthy populations of rare, threatened or endemic species or species of international and regional importance. These sites must be managed in such a way that their conservation and tourism value is not detrimentally reduced. In order to assist conservation managers with the allocation of resources, the sites that were identified are divided into three priority groups, namely imperative, urgent and desirable. The evaluation for priority rating was done according to the criteria of conservation value, tourism value and threats. Sites were compared using pair-wise comparison, and groupings were obtained through cluster analysis. The sites that were identified, their main reason for conservation, most important threats and management recommendations are listed below according to the priority groupings. Management recommendations are only done for the two highest groupings, namely the imperative and important sites.

Includes bibliographical references.