Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Dead or alive? Comparing costs and benefits of lethal and non-lethal human–wildlife conflict mitigation on livestock farms

  • J. S. McManus (a1), A. J. Dickman (a2), D. Gaynor (a3), B. H. Smuts (a4) and D. W. Macdonald (a2)...
Abstract
Abstract

Livestock depredation has implications for conservation and agronomy; it can be costly for farmers and can prompt retaliatory killing of carnivores. Lethal control measures are readily available and are reportedly perceived to be cheaper, more practical and more effective than non-lethal methods. However, the costs and efficacy of lethal vs non-lethal approaches have rarely been compared formally. We conducted a 3-year study on 11 South African livestock farms, examining costs and benefits of lethal and non-lethal conflict mitigation methods. Farmers used existing lethal control in the first year and switched to guardian animals (dogs Canis familiaris and alpacas Lama pacos) or livestock protection collars for the following 2 years. During the first year the mean cost of livestock protection was USD 3.30 per head of stock and the mean cost of depredation was USD 20.11 per head of stock. In the first year of non-lethal control the combined implementation and running costs were similar to those of lethal control (USD 3.08 per head). However, the mean cost of depredation decreased by 69.3%, to USD 6.52 per head. In the second year of non-lethal control the running costs (USD 0.43 per head) were significantly lower than in previous years and depredation costs decreased further, to USD 5.49 per head. Our results suggest that non-lethal methods of human–wildlife conflict mitigation can reduce depredation and can be economically advantageous compared to lethal methods of predator control.

Copyright
Corresponding author
(Corresponding author) E-mail jeannine_mcmanus@hotmail.com
References
Hide All
AndeltW.F. & HopperS.N. (2000) Livestock guard dogs reduce predation on domestic sheep in Colorado. Journal of Range Management, 53, 259267.
AtkinsonR.P.D. & MacdonaldD.W. (1994) Can repellents function as a nonlethal means of controlling moles (Talpa-Europaea)? Journal of Applied Ecology, 31, 731736.
AvenantN.L. & du PlessisJ.J. (2008) Sustainable small stock farming and ecosystem conservation in Southern Africa: a role for small mammals? Mammalia, 72, 258263.
BakerS.E., EllwoodS.A., SlaterD., WatkinsR.W. & MacdonaldD.W. (2008) Learned food aversion plus odour cue protects crop from mammalian wildlife foraging. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 72, 785791.
BamfordA.J., DiekmannM., MonadjemA. & MendelsohnJ. (2007) Ranging behaviour of Cape Vultures Gyps coprotheres from an endangered population in Namibia. Bird Conservation International, 17, 331339.
BeasomS. L. (1974) Selectivity of predator control techniques in South Texas. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 38, 837844.
BeinartW. (2008) The Rise of Conservation in South Africa: Settlers, Livestock, and the Environment 1770–1950. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.
BergerK.M. (2006) Carnivore–livestock conflicts: effects of subsidized predator control and economic correlates on the sheep industry. Conservation Biology, 20, 751761.
BradleyE.H., PletscherD.H., BangsE.E., KunkelK.E., SmithD.W., MackC.M. et al. (2005) Evaluating wolf translocation as a nonlethal method to reduce livestock conflicts in the northwestern United States. Conservation Biology, 19, 14981508.
BrandD.J., FairallN. & ScottW.M. (1995) The influence of regular removal of black-backed jackals on the efficiency of coyote getters. South African Journal of Wildlife Research, 25, 4448.
BreitenmoserC., AngstU., LandryC., Breitenmoser-WürstenC., LinnellJ.D.C. & WeberJ.M. (2005) Non-lethal techniques for reducing depredation. In People and Wildlife: Conflict or Coexistence? (eds Woodroffe R., Thirgood S. & Rabinowitz A.), pp. 4971. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
BunnefeldN., LinnellJ.D.C., OddenJ., Van DuijnM.A.J., & AndersenR. (2006) Risk taking by Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) in a human-dominated landscape: effects of sex and reproductive status. Journal of Zoology, 270, 3139.
ConnerM.M., EbingerM.R., KnowltonF.F. (2008) Evaluating coyote management strategies using a spatially explicit, individual-based, socially structured population model. Ecological Modelling, 219, 234247.
ConoverM. (2001) Effect of hunting and trapping on wildlife damage. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 29, 521532.
CoppingerR., CoppingerL., LangelohG., GettlerL. & LorenzJ. (1988) A decade of use of livestock guarding dogs. Proceedings of the Thirteenth Vertebrate Pest Conference, 13, 209214.
CoxR., BakerS.E., MacdonaldD.W. & BerdoyM. (2004) Protecting egg prey from carrion crows: the potential of aversive conditioning. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 87, 325342.
CrooksK.R. & SouléM.E. (1999) Mesopredator release and avifaunal extinctions in a fragmented system. Nature, 400, 563566.
DalyB., Davies-MostertH., Davies-MostertW., EvansS., FriedmannY., KingN. et al. (eds) (2006) Proceedings of a Workshop on Holistic Management of Human–Wildlife Conflict in the Agricultural Sector of South Africa. Endangered Wildlife Trust, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Davidson-NelsonS.J. & GehringT.M. (2010) Testing fladry as a nonlethal management tool for wolves and coyotes in Michigan. Human–Wildlife Interactions, 4, 8794.
DickmanA.J., MacdonaldE.A. & MacdonaldD.W. (2011) A review of financial instruments to pay for predator conservation and encourage human–carnivore coexistence. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108, 1393713944.
GehringT.M., VerCauterenK.C. & LandryJ.M. (2010) Livestock protection dogs in the 21st century: is an ancient tool relevant to modern conservation challenges? BioScience, 60, 299308.
GeseE. (2005) Demographic and spatial responses of coyotes to changes in food and exploitation. Proceedings of the Wildlife Damage Management Conference, 11, 271285.
GrahamK., BeckermanA.P. & ThirgoodS. (2005) Human–predator–prey conflicts: ecological correlates, prey losses and patterns of management. Biological Conservation, 122, 159171.
GreenJ.S., WoodruffR.A. & TuellerT.T. (1984) Livestock-guarding dogs for predator control: costs, benefits, and practicality. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 12, 4450.
GreentreeC., SaundersG., McLeodL. & HoneJ. (2000) Lamb predation and fox control in south-eastern Australia. Journal of Applied Ecology, 37, 935943.
GutheryF.S. & BeasomS.L. (1978) Effects of predator control on Angora goat survival in South Texas. Journal of Range Management, 31, 168173.
HazzahL., Borgerhoff MulderM. & FrankL. (2009) Lions and warriors: social factors underlying declining African lion populations and the effect of incentive-based management in Kenya. Biological Conservation, 142, 24282437.
HolmernT., NyahongoJ. & RoskaftE. (2007) Livestock loss caused by predators outside the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. Biological Conservation, 135, 518526.
HoneJ. (1994) Analysis of Vertebrate Pest Control. Cambridge University Press, New York, USA.
KnowltonF.F., GeseE.M. & JaegerM.M. (1999) Coyote depredation control: an interface between biology and management. Journal of Range Management, 52, 398412.
KruukH. (2002) Hunter and Hunted: Relationships between Carnivores and People. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
LinhartS.B., SternerR.T., CarriganT.C. & HenneD.R. (1979) Komondor guard dogs reduce sheep losses to coyotes: a preliminary evaluation. Journal of Range Management, 32, 238241.
LoveridgeA.J., WangS.W., FrankL.G. & SeidenstickerJ. (2010) People and wild felids: conservation of cats and management of conflicts. In Biology and Conservation of Wild Felids (eds Macdonald D.W. & Loveridge A.J.), pp. 161195. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.
MacdonaldD.W. & BakerS.E. (2004) Non-lethal control of fox predation: the potential of generalised aversion. Animal Welfare, 13, 7785.
MacdonaldD.W., BoitaniL., DinersteinE., FritzH. & WranghamR. (2013) Conserving large mammals: are they a special case? In Key Topics in Conservation Biology 2 (eds Macdonald D.W. & Willis K.J.), pp. 277312. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK.
MacdonaldD.W., LoveridgeA.J. & RabinowitzA. (2010) Felid futures: crossing disciplines, borders and generations. In Biology and Conservation of Wild Felids (eds Macdonald D.W. & Loveridge A.J.), pp. 599649. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.
MarchiniS. & MacdonaldD.W. (2012) Predicting ranchers' intention to kill jaguars: case studies in Amazonia and Pantanal. Biological Conservation, 147, 213221.
MarkerL.L., DickmanA.J. & MacdonaldD.W. (2005) Perceived effectiveness of livestock-guarding dogs placed on Namibian farms. Rangeland Ecology & Management, 58, 329336.
MarkerL., DickmanA., MillsG. & MacdonaldD.W. (2010) Cheetahs and ranchers in Namibia: a case study. In Biology and Conservation of Wild Felids (eds Macdonald D.W. & Loveridge A.J.), pp. 353372. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.
MasonJ.R., ShivikJ.A. & FallM.W. (2001) Chemical repellents and other aversive strategies in predation management. Endangered Species Update, 18, 175181.
MitchellB.R., JaegerM.M. & BarrettR.H. (2004) Coyote depredation management: current methods and research needs. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 32, 12091218.
MucinaL. & RutherfordM.C. (eds) (2005) The Vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, South Africa.
OgadaM.O., WoodroffeR., OgugeN.O. & FrankL.G. (2003) Limiting depredation by African carnivores: the role of livestock husbandry. Conservation Biology, 17, 15211530.
O'GaraB.W., BrawleyK.C., MunozJ.R. & HenneD.R. (1983) Predation on domestic sheep on a western Montana ranch. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 11, 253264.
RayJ., HunterL. & ZigourisJ. (2005) Setting Conservation and Research Priorities for Larger African Carnivores. Wildlife Conservation Society, New York, USA.
ReynoldsJ.C. (1999) The potential for exploiting conditioned taste aversion (CTA) in wildlife management. In Advances in Vertebrate Pest Management (eds Cowan D.P. & Feare C.J.), pp. 267–82. Filander Verlag, Fürth, Germany.
RochlitzI., PearceG.P. & BroomD.M. (2010) The Impact of Snares on Animal Welfare. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
SavoryA. (1983) The Savory grazing method or holistic resource management. Rangelands, 5, 155159.
Schiess-MeierM., RamsauerS., GabanapeloT. & KönigB. (2007) Livestock predation—insights from problem animal control registers in Botswana. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 71, 12671274.
ShivikJ.A. (2006) Tools for the edge: what's new for conserving carnivores. BioScience, 56, 253259.
Sillero-ZubiriC. & LaurensonM.K. (2001) Interactions between carnivores and local communities: conflict or co-existence? In Carnivore Conservation (eds Gittleman J.L., Funk S.M., Macdonald D.W. & Wayne R.K.), pp. 282312. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Sillero-ZubiriC., ReynoldsJ. & NovaroA.J. (2004) Management and control of wild canids alongside people. In Biology and Conservation of Wild Canids (eds Macdonald D.W. & Sillero-Zubiri C.), pp. 123142. Oxford University Press, New York, USA.
SmutsB. (2008) Predators on Livestock Farms: A Practical Farmers' Manual for Non-lethal, Holistic, Ecologically Acceptable and Ethical Management. Landmark Foundation, Riversdale, South Africa. Http://www.landmarkfoundation.org.za/uploads/5/9/0/1/5901915/predators_on_livestock_farms_a_practical_manual_for_non_lethal_holistic_ecologically_acceptable_and_ethical_management_landmark_foundation.pdf [accessed 6 March 2014].
Statistics South Africa (2010) Census of Commercial Agriculture 2007. Report No. 11-02-01 (2007). Statistics South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa.
TrevesA. & KaranthK.U. (2003) Human–carnivore conflict and perspectives on carnivore management worldwide. Conservation Biology, 17, 14911499.
TrevesA. & Naughton-TrevesL. (2005) Evaluating lethal control in the management of human–wildlife conflict. In People and Wildlife: Conflict or Coexistence? (eds Woodroffe R., Thirgood S. & Rabinowitz A.), pp. 86106. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
TuyttensF.A.M. & MacdonaldD.W. (2000) Consequences of social perturbation for wildlife management and conservation. In Behaviour and Conservation (eds Gosling L.M. & Sutherland W.J.), pp. 315329. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
van NiekerkH.N. (2010) The cost of predation on small livestock in South Africa by medium sized predators. MSc thesis. Free State University, Bloemfontein, South Africa.
WagnerK.K. & ConoverM.R. (1999) Effect of preventive coyote hunting on sheep losses to coyote predation. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 63, 606612.
WangS.W. & MacdonaldD.W. (2006) Livestock predation by carnivores in Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park, Bhutan. Biological Conservation, 129, 558565.
WoodroffeR. & GinsbergJ.R. (1998) Edge effects and the extinction of populations inside protected areas. Science, 280, 21262128.
WoodroffeR., ThirgoodS. & RabinowitzA. (2005) The impact of human–wildlife conflict on natural systems. In People and Wildlife: Conflict or Coexistence? (eds Woodroffe R., Thirgood S. & Rabinowitz A.), pp. 112. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
ZimmermannA., WalpoleM. J. & Leader-WilliamsN. (2005) Cattle ranchers' attitudes to conflicts with jaguar Panthera onca in the Pantanal of Brazil. Oryx, 39, 406412.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Oryx
  • ISSN: 0030-6053
  • EISSN: 1365-3008
  • URL: /core/journals/oryx
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Type Description Title
PDF
Supplementary Materials

McManus Supplementary Material
Tables

 PDF (284 KB)
284 KB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 52
Total number of PDF views: 290 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 1217 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 21st October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.