Livestock Guarding Dogs

Outreach

Resolving human-wildlife conflict to #KeeptheWildWild

  • by Hannah Mulvany 9 March 2022
Resolving human-wildlife conflict to #KeeptheWildWild

Human population growth has reduced cheetah habitat by more than 90% over the last 100 years, forcing the majority of cheetah populations onto unprotected farmland, alongside livestock and farmers and under constant threat of conflict. With limited natural prey, cheetahs sometimes attack livestock which creates huge financial pressure for farmers and often causes them to retaliate by trapping or killing cheetahs. To Keep the Wild, Wild, we need to work with farmers to reduce conflict through education and training, and grow our programmes to allow us to work in more areas.


Livestock guarding dogs

The livestock guarding dog (LGD) programme is one of CCF’s most successful initiatives. We breed and train the dogs at our model farm in Namibia, then place them with farmers in ‘hotspots’ of human-wildlife conflict. These special animals use their imposing presence and loud bark warn off predators such as cheetahs, stopping farmers from trapping or shooting them in retaliation for killing their livestock.
This innovative programme reduces livestock loss by between 80-100%. Farmers adopt CCF’s LGDs and participate in ongoing education to support the dog’s development. CCF does on-site visits to ensure the dogs are settling into their guardian role and to follow-up on medical care. Farmers have enthusiastically embraced the program, and there is a waiting list for puppies. Research shows that the people’s attitudes towards predators are changing as a result of the success of CCF’s LGD programme. By preventing cheetahs from attacking livestock, we are stopping human-wildlife conflict from occurring and encouraging cheetahs to pursue their natural prey.
Sponsor a livestock guarding dog to support this programme.

Community outreach

Human Wildlife Conflict education - Farmer receives education materials

CCF staff are engaged in community outreach efforts across Namibia. CCF responds to calls about problem predators and gives assistance in preventing livestock predation. At every outreach call, helpful educational materials are provided to farmers and technical improvements are suggested to help mitigate livestock losses. CCF staff are continually finding new ways to help rural communities gain solutions that are mutually beneficial to both wildlife and domestic animals. Through our community outreach and training, we can improve the relationship between humans and cheetahs.


Future Farmers of Africa

To prevent further cheetah population decline, CCF works with farmers to investigate, develop and implement predator-friendly livestock and wildlife management techniques. The techniques are also exhibited at CCF’s Model Farm, where the farming community can see demonstrations and complete farming coursework. CCF promotes predator-friendly livestock management solutions in farmer publications, agricultural shows, communal meetings, and within agricultural coursework at colleges and universities. By proving that farming can be done in harmony with predators, we are preventing cheetahs from attacking livestock and farmers killing them in retaliation.


Farmer carnivore help hotline

The hotline number is for farmers across Namibia to be able to contact CCF directly 24/7 to freely discuss any issues relating to cheetahs and other carnivores on their farms. These issues can include a problem animal and livestock predation to wanting to gain further information on carnivore ecology. By providing an alternative to trapping or killing predators, we help farmers to live and prosper alongside predators.


Please help us Keep the Wild, Wild by joining one of our events, donating to support the work that we do, joining one of our amazing cheetah communities, or sharing your newfound knowledge with friends and family on social media or around the dinner table!

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