Human-wildlife conflict in the Ghanzi farmlands, Botswana by nhs90963


									                                                                        Human-wildlife conflict in the Ghanzi farmlands, Botswana
                                                                                        Vivien T. Kent and Russell A. Hill, Department of Anthropology, Durham University

                                                           Context and study area                                                                                                                                                               Methods
                                                                                                                                                                                   Biological Methods
       The Ghanzi farming region of western Botswana presents a difficult challenge in terms of human-predator conflict.                                                          • Spoor surveys (Fig. 5) – three surveys in different parts of study area                            to establish density and abundance
       The farm block adjoins the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and lion (Panthera leo), leopard (Panthera pardus),                                                               • Camera trapping (Fig. 6) – 30 camera traps to be deployed                                          of predators in study area
      cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), brown hyaena (Hyaena brunnea), African wild dog (Lycaon pictus), caracal (Caracal
      caracal) and black-backed jackal (Canis mesomelas) all occur in the area.                                                                                                    • Line transects – to establish availability of natural prey species
       The majority of the land is owned and farmed by the white Afrikaner minority (Fig. 1) and tolerance of predators is                                                        • Scat analysis (Fig. 7) – to determine dietary composition of selected predators
      generally low.
       Traditionally a cattle farming area, several landowners have converted, either completely or partially, to game
      farming for trophy hunting and/or photographic tourism in recent years (Fig. 2).
       This change has exacerbated the existing problems of livestock depredation. As a result, the use of lethal control
      (shooting and poison) and trapping (Figs. 3, 4) is widespread, although it has had little or no impact on levels of
      livestock predation.
       The targeted persecution of some species appears to be influencing the relative densities of some predators.                                                               a)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               a)                                                b)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Figure 6. Photograph of cheetah taken by camera trap
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Figure 7. Cross sections of hairs taken from
                                                                                                                                                                                        c)               d)                                                                                                carnivore scat of a) kudu Tragelaphus
                                                                                                                                                                                    Figure 5. Spoor of a) brown hyaena; b)                                                                                 strepsiceros; b) impala Aepyceros melampus;
                                                                                                                                                                                    cheetah ; c) jackal; d) leopard                                                                                        c) duiker Sylvicapra grimmia

                                                                                                                                                                                   Anthropological Methods
                                                                                                                                                                                   • Questionnaire surveys                   to determine attitudes and perceptions of stakeholders to predators and to
                                                                                                                                                                                   • Semi-structured interviews              livestock management
                                                                                                                                                                                   • Participant observation

     Figure 1. Map of Ghanzi farm block showing land ownership – each                   Figure 2. Map of Ghanzi farm block showing land usage                                                                                                           Results
     colour represents a different owner
                                                                                                                                                                                   • Reported depredations of livestock cite leopard as the most common cause
                                                                                                                                                                                   of loss followed by wild dog, lion and jackal. 1
                                                                                                                                                                                   •Amongst livestock farmers leopard and cheetah were most often ranked the                            5

                                                                                                                                                                                   most problematic predators closely followed by jackal and lion. Most game
                                                                                                                                                                                   farmers ranked leopard most problematic followed by jackal (Fig. 8). 2,3
                                                                                                                                                                                   • Attitudes to predators are very mixed ranging from extremely hostile                               3

                                                                                                                                                                                   through pragmatic to positive. 2                                                                                                                                               Livestock farmers

                                                                                                                                                                                   • These views are not generational – a range of views found within all age                           2                                                                         Game farmers

                                                                                                                                                                                   groups. 2                                                                                            1

                                                                                                                                                                                   • All farmers are extremely hostile to jackal considering them to be pests
                                                                                                                                                                                   with little or no value. 2                                                                           0
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Black backed    Cheetah   Leopard        Caracal   Lion   Wild dog

                                                                                                                                                                                   • There is a belief that jackal numbers have increased in recent years. 2                                   jackal

                                                                                                                                                                                   • Most farmers think that natural prey populations are quite healthy . 2                             Figure 8. Ranking of predators as problems by livestock and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        game farmers. 2

      Figure 3. Traps set by farmer to catch cheetah                                           Figure 4. Cheetah trapped at marking tree

                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Conclusions and continuing research
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Questionnaires undertaken to date have revealed a complex and at times contradictory picture of attitudes of farmers
                                     Literature cited                                                                         Acknowledgments
1 Ghanzi District Problem Animal Control Unit figures 1995 - 2005                                         Thanks go to ESRC and NERC for funding this project. Also to Dr. J. W.        • Further questionnaires and interviews to be conducted
2 Klein, R. Unpublished data                                                                              ‘Tico’ McNutt, Dr. N. Avenant, Dr. C. Bonyongo, Cheetah Conservation          • Spoor surveys and camera trapping to be undertaken to establish population abundance and relative density of
3 Selebatso, M. 2006. Livestock Losses and Farmers’ Perceptions Towards Cheetah (Acinonyx Jubatus)        Botswana , Lorraine Boast, Kevin Grant, Birthe Gjern.
Conservation in Ghanzi District, Botswana. MSc Thesis, Aas, Norway: Norwegian University of Life
                                                                                                                                                                                        different predator species
Sciences.                                                                                                                                                                               • Line transects to get baseline data on prey abundance
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Scat analysis to determine diet of caracal and jackal
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