Niel Viljoen was born and raised in the Karoo, a semi-arid interior region of South Africa on the southern tip of Africa. The Karoo is rich with an abundance of animal life and with a unique plant diversity this integrated ecosystem is supporting one of the world’s healthiest bio diversities.
This well-preserved paradise is any researcher’s dream and this was home for Niel with his unsaturated, endless need for knowledge, forever researching, learning and exploring to understand this unique and never-ending source of information. Passionate about nature and supported by his love of photography this process resulted in a snowball effect. Fortunate to be the owner of his portion of land, where time could be spent at his own discretion and where the process of learning was never interrupted. Contributing to the livestock industry (wool and meat) in South Africa, farming was the ideal opportunity to enrich him with creative ideas to assist the modern day farmer to optimize production.
From the time that humans started livestock farming, livestock and predators were in conflict and managing this process is the challenge that Niel signed up for. With a keen interest in predators he started a process in 1991 observing and studying the behavior patterns of predators like the Black Backed Jackal and Caracal on his farm trying to ensure the profitability and sustainability of livestock farming by means of implementing, improving and forever changing his management strategies best fit for this vulnerable ecosystem.
Through continuous observation and data mapping Niel has acquired extensive practical knowledge in the administration of various predator species. From 2009, Niel has studied predator behavior throughout South Africa on a national basis, presented various courses in predator and livestock management and trained more than 10,000 people across South Africa and even advised persons abroad in countries like Argentina, Australia and USA.
Today Niel is supported by organizations like:
NWGA(National Woolgrowers Association of South Africa)
RPO (Red Meat Producers Organization of South Africa)
SAMGA (South African Mohair Growers Association)
PMF (The Predation Management Forum)
WRSA (Wildlife Ranching South African)
Niel is currently serving as an advisor and lecturer to the farming community, agricultural schools, universities, government and other organizations to improve livestock and predation management.
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