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Cost of carnivore coexistence on communal and resettled land in Namibia

  • N. A. RUST (a1) and L. L. MARKER (a1)


Human-wildlife conflict is detrimental to the conservation of threatened carnivores and the livelihoods of rural communities. This paper compares perceived levels of human-carnivore conflict experienced on five Namibian communal conservancies and four resettled farming areas. Factors explored include how reported depredation was affected by livestock husbandry practices, the perceived annual cost of depredation and the reported problem predator species. Of the 147 respondents interviewed, perceived depredation was greater than in previous studies; high perceived depredation was associated with greater rates of predator removal, increased ranking of predators as problems and increased predator sighting frequency. Small stock species were the most commonly depredated livestock. The most frequently perceived predators were: jackals on goats and sheep, wild cats on chickens, leopards on horses and spotted hyenas on cattle. The financial cost of this predation was US$508898, mostly attributable to cattle depredation, and agricultural training schemes recommending good livestock management may help reduce this cost. A move from small to large stock farming could be promoted in areas with an abundance of small- to medium-sized carnivores and a lack of large carnivores. Further incentives, such as meat provision and income from consumptive and non-consumptive tourism could ensure benefits outweigh costs of wildlife coexistence.


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*Correspondence: Miss Nicola Rust e-mail:


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