Despite conservation efforts, large carnivore numbers continue to decline globally (Anonymous 2010a). Significant failures have occurred, notably, the extinction of three tiger Panthera tigris subspecies within the past 50 years (Weber & Rabinowitz 1996). The large African carnivore guild is made up of seven species (Dalerum et al. 2008) with declining populations, which are classed as follows by the International …Read More »
Christiaan has been focusing on long term ecological monitoring in NG/29 and NG/30, two concessions in the Okavango Delta. He has a special interest in survey techniques to assess the population size and trend of large carnivores. Christiaan and his wife Hanlie conducted the first ever lion surveys in the Okavango Delta in 1995. They collaborated with the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) from 1998 to 2000 to conduct the lion surveys of northern Botswana. The Winterbach’s have collected 16 years of baseline data on the lion population and their social dynamics in the south-western Delta. Their research included the effect of Feline Immunodeficiency Virus on infected lions (lion version of HIV in humans) and in 2002/2003 they drafted National Predator Management Strategy for Large Predators in Botswana. This was the first ever multi-carnivore species strategy done in Africa. Christiaan is a founder members of the African Lion Working Group (affiliate of the IUCN Cat Specialist Group and the Conservation Breeding Specialist Group of the Species Survival Commission), and a member of the IUCN Cat Specialist Group since 2002. It is not just carnivores for Christiaan. He also studied elephants and their potential impact around the artificial water points in the Nogatsaa area of Chobe National Park. Two students are currently working with Christiaan. One is looking at the impact of high flood levels on habitat availability for herbivore and the second is investigating the impact of prey declines on the local lion population.