Kuizkus was one of the first cattle farms in Namibia that was slowly restored into a reserve only for wildlife starting in 1964. In a landscape which was and still is dominated by private rangeland management for livestock (mainly sheep and some cattle), Kuzikus today forms one of the few hotspots for ecological integrity and a biodiversity stepping stone in south-eastern Kalahari Region of Namibia.
Since 30 years Kuzikus is working on a sustainable wildlife management system that produces livelihood for more than 4 families as well as natural habitat for endangered species. Considering the biomass production in form of meat alone the “wildlife farming system” easily out competes its alternative “cattle ranching system” in that area. Furthermore it offers an income from tourism and education. The system is based on farming with nature in such a way as to support the condition that is determined to be characteristic of its natural region and likely to persist, including abiotic components and the composition and abundance of native species and biological communities, rates of change and supporting processes.
Since Kuzikus, is surrounded by sheep and cattle farms, the integrity of ecological functionality at the landscape level, however, could hardly be brought back, and here, constantly controlling the population numbers of larger mammals by mimicking the function of predators and droughts (in which a big proportion of the population migrates or dies) has proven to be a very effective way to ensuring resilience and resistance of ecological processes at the farm level. Furthermore it has proven to be a sustainable way of meat production.
Today Kuzikus facilitates and conducts biological and ecological research within the “small scale ecosystem Kuzikus” as well as comparative studies on livestock farms in the same region in order gain a deeper understanding of how wildlife farming systems on marginal land in arid savannas could contribute towards conservation of the wider landscape currently dominated by livestock farming.
The research is important for future modern conservation that is able to substantially enhance biodiversity and sensual landscape quality within the social, economic and agronomic restrictions of a farm as conventional conservation in form of protected parks alone cannot be the solution for reverting the biodiversity crisis in the face of an ever growing human population which will need land for food production and resources.
Kuzikus also offers 6 rooms (full board) and conducts Kalahari excursions for tourists who wish to gain a deeper insight into the fascinating world of biology and the importance of ecological research and its application in the arid savannahs of Africa.
For more information: Background of Kuzikus (PDF 160,7 kb)