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Oryx (2009), 43:67-72 Cambridge University Press
Copyright © Fauna & Flora International 2009

Carnivore conservation: Papers

Human–wildlife conflict in northern Botswana: livestock predation by Endangered African wild dog Lycaon pictus and other carnivores

M. Gusseta1 p1 c1, M.J. Swarnera1, L. Mponwanea1, K. Keletilea1 and J.W. McNutta1

a1 Botswana Predator Conservation Program, Private Bag 13, Maun, Botswana.
Article author query
gusset m [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
swarner mj [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
mponwane l [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
keletile k [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
mcnutt jw [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]


We conducted a questionnaire survey among 77 cattle posts and farms to investigate human-carnivore conflicts in northern Botswana, with a particular focus on Endangered African wild dog Lycaon pictus, persecuted throughout their shrinking range in sub-Saharan Africa for allegedly predating livestock. Predator attacks on livestock (n = 938 conflict reports) represent an economic concern for livestock owners, particularly alleged predation by black-backed jackal Canis mesomelas, which were blamed for 77% of all reported livestock losses. The presence of two known resident packs of wild dogs did not result in corresponding conflict reports with livestock owners, as wild dogs accounted for only 2% of reported predator attacks and largely subsisted on wild prey. Nevertheless, most of these wild dogs were killed in the months following this survey. Reported conflicts involving the two largest predator species (lion Panthera leo and spotted hyaena Crocuta crocuta) declined with increasing distance from protected areas. Leaving livestock unattended during the day seems to facilitate predation but kraaling livestock at night reduces predation. Compensation payments for livestock losses did not demonstrably change livestock owners’ willingness to coexist with predators. Our results corroborate studies from elsewhere that simple improvements in livestock husbandry practices would help mitigate human-carnivore conflicts.

(Received March 17 2008)

(Reviewed May 16 2008)

(Accepted July 04 2008)

KeywordsCompensation; human-wildlife conflict; livestock husbandry; livestock predation; Lycaon pictus


c1 Botswana Predator Conservation Program, Private Bag 13, Maun, Botswana. E-mail mgusset@bluewin.ch

p1 Current address: Leipzig Zoo, Pfaffendorfer Strasse 29, 04105 Leipzig, Germany.