Namibia’s savannah is currently infested by thorn bush, covering an estimated 10 – 12 million hectares representing 12 – 14 per cent of the land. The infestation by this indigenous species is the result of a complex interaction between cattle farming, fire suppression policies, and weather. Unfortunately, once bush takes hold and displaces grass cover, its root system develops and gains a competitive advantage for water, preventing the grass’s return. When the acacia thorn bush encroaches, it can cause land to lose up to 100 per cent of its productivity and usefulness. The resulting dense thickets of bush prevent farmers from using the land and disrupt the natural habitat of the Namibian ecosystem.
The invasive thorn bush is also known to adversely affect the cheetah by decreasing the cheetah’s line of vision during hunting and limiting the proliferation of prey.