Using livestock guarding dogs as conflict resolution strategy

  • January 1, 2005
  • by Marker L. L., A.J. Dickman, M. Schumann


Our research has shown that the placement of livestock guarding dogs on Namibian farms can have a very positive effect for local farmers, in terms of reducing stock losses and having an economically beneficial impact. Although studies have indicated that cheetah removals have dropped in the study area over the time that guarding dogs were placed (Marker et al. 2003b), it is hard to measure the extent to which these changes were due to conflict resolution measures such as dog placement, and how much was due to other factors, such as education, or changes in cheetah population size. Nevertheless, numerous other studies have demonstrated a link between levels of stock depredation and the removal of those predators blamed (Ogada et al. 2003, Shivik et al. 2003), so the placement of these dogs on Namibian farms may well have had a positive effect in terms of reducing cheetah removal rates. Despite the inevitable problems encountered with any conflict resolution measure, this study has shown that the use of livestock guarding dogs can be an effective tool for both communal and commercial farmers in Namibia, and could have important implications in many similar situations elsewhere.

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