Carnivore Conservation Programme

 

PREVENTING THE DELIBERATE KILLING OF CARNIVORES

SHORT DESCRIPTION
People often kill carnivores in retaliation for predation or to prevent future possible predation on animals that have an economic or social value to the owner of the animals. This targeted killing can have large consequences for the long-term survival of carnivores. This project provides long-term, non-lethal solutions that prevent predation and thus eliminate the need for indiscriminate killing of carnivores.

LOCATION
Limpopo – Waterberg (cattle and wildlife ranchers, communal farmers), Northern Cape Province (sheep farmers), Western Boundary of Kruger (game farmers and communal farmers), Northern KwaZulu-Natal (game farmers and communal farmers) and the Eastern Cape.

TARGETED SPECIES AND HABITAT
All carnivores, specific focus on the following biomes: Savanna, Thicket, Grassland, Nama Karoo and Succulent Karoo.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Human-carnivore conflict is the leading cause of the decline in carnivore population worldwide. Conflict occurs when people and carnivores compete for the same resources e.g. Leopard predating on cattle or Wild Dogs predating on game animal that have an economic value to the landowner. Additionally, predation can have serious consequences for food security and rural development. Thus it is imperative that solutions are found that benefit both the land owner and carnivore conservation at key sites. Solutions include the use of livestock guarding dogs, kraaling and using deterrent methods e.g. lights and noises to scare carnivores away. While there are many effective solutions to predation, there is a lack of knowledge on the true extent and impact of predation and local barriers to the uptake of anti-predation measures. Research is needed to address these gaps and then effectively transfer the results to the relevant communities. There is also often a misunderstanding and lack of knowledge among all land users on the biology and predation habits of carnivores. As a result, indiscriminate killing often takes place. Information transfer needs to be proactively done through formal workshops and extension work. This information must include information on the carnivores, what methods can be used to prevent predation and who can be contacted to assist with predation problems. Relevant materials need to be developed and distributed for use by the land users. Research needs to be done on new and emerging ideas for predation prevention and conservation agreements need investigating. The current rise of green labelling offers opportunities to provide incentives for carnivore-friendly landuse.