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Translocation of problem predators: is it an effective way to mitigate conflict between farmers and cheetahs Acinonyx jubatus in Botswana?

  • Lorraine K. Boast (a1), Kyle Good (a1) and Rebecca Klein (a1)

The translocation of predators believed to be preying on livestock is often perceived as a more humane and desirable method of removal than lethal control. However, the survival of translocated predators and the effectiveness of translocation in reducing conflict at the removal site are often not documented. We assessed farmers’ perceptions of the efficacy of translocation at reducing livestock and game-stock losses in Botswana, and determined the post-release survival of translocated cheetahs Acinonyx jubatus, the most threatened large felid in Africa. Eighteen percent of translocated cheetahs survived 1 year (n = 11). The low survival rate was thought to be related to homing behaviour and wide-ranging movements post release. The majority of farmers who had translocated a problem predator from their farm within the 12 months prior to the study perceived that the translocation was ineffective at reducing stock losses, both in the short (59.1%) and long term (63.6%, n = 22). At least one of the monitored cheetahs continued to predate livestock after release. In light of the low survival, significant financial costs and failure to reduce stock losses, we conclude that the translocation of problem cheetahs in Botswana should no longer be conducted, and that conflict mitigation methods should focus on techniques that promote coexistence of predators and humans.

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      Translocation of problem predators: is it an effective way to mitigate conflict between farmers and cheetahs Acinonyx jubatus in Botswana?
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