Human–carnivore conflict is a serious management issue often causing opposition towards conservation efforts. In a survey of 481 households in seven different villages outside the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, 67.4% of respondents owned livestock and 27.4% of all the households surveyed reported losses of a total of 4.5% of their livestock to wild predators over 12 months. This loss equated to an average annual financial loss of 19.2% (US $26.8) of their cash income. Livestock depredation was reported to be caused most often by spotted hyena ( Crocuta crocuta ) (97.7%), leopard ( Panthera pardus ) (1.6%), baboon ( Papio cynocephalus ) (0.4%), lion ( Panthera leo ) (0.1%) and lastly black-backed jackal ( Canis mesomelas ) (0.1%). Total reported losses during 2003 amounted to US $12,846 of which spotted hyena kills were reported to account for 98.2%. The mean annual livestock loss per household (of those that reported loss) was 5.3 head of stock, which represents more than two-thirds of the local average annual cash income. Depredation by large felids occurred only in a narrow zone along the protected area (<3 km), whereas spotted hyenas killed livestock even in households located far away (>30 km). Tolerance of livestock depredation among the respondents was low. Logistic regression models indicated that education improved tolerance, while for livestock owners higher depredation rates was linked to approval of lethal retaliation and effective protection measures was associated with a reduced desire of retaliation. We recommend that further research should identify the precise causes of livestock loss and which protection measures that can reduce depredation.
Biological Conservation – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 2007
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