Predation impacts on livestock in a communal area of Namaqualand, Northern Cape, South Africa

 

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dc.contributor.advisor Hoffmann, Timm en_ZA
dc.contributor.advisor Cristescu, Bogdan en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Lutchminarayan, Kirtanya en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2015-05-27T04:10:17Z
dc.date.available 2015-05-27T04:10:17Z
dc.date.issued 2014 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Lutchminarayan, K. 2014. Predation impacts on livestock in a communal area of Namaqualand, Northern Cape, South Africa. University of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/12926
dc.description Includes bibliographical references. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract The black-backed jackal (Canis mesomelas) and caracal (Felis caracal) commonly inhabit agricultural landscapes in southern Africa, threatening goat and sheep herds. The communal area of Paulshoek, in the Northern Cape of South Africa provided a model system to study this, as farmers in this region are dependent on livestock farming as a livelihood. 47 farmers were interviewed monthly from 1998-2013, to record the number of goats and sheep lost to predators and this formed the basis of the long-term dataset. Furthermore, predation levels for each animal age class and animal condition category were investigated, and predation levels were linked to rainfall, herd size and farmer herding strategies. On-farm personal interviews with 20 of the farmers were conducted in 2014 to evaluate perceptions of predation and to gain insight into their herding strategies. It was established that 1,495 animals were reportedly lost to predators over the study period whilst an average of 3.1% of goats and 5.4% of sheep in all Paulshoek herds were lost to predators each year. Predation levels varied annually, and were linked to annual rainfall patterns. There were differences in monthly predation levels with the highest predation occurring in the late autumn- early winter months (April-June). Herd size was an important variable affecting predation as larger herds were reported as having noticeably higher predation levels than smaller herds. Younger animals were also identified as prime targets of predators whilst few older animals were lost due to predation. There were significant differences between animal condition and rainfall for the five different animal condition classes as animals in poor condition were most highly predated. Little variation in predation levels was observed within and between farmers, and the number of hours worked by farmers did not affect predation levels. Herding was recognized as an ancient practice in Paulshoek and is perceived as a means of protection of livestock from predators. This study provides valuable insight into the impacts of livestock predation in Paulshoek by investigating predator behaviour in communal areas and providing insight into farmer livelihoods, both of which could be useful for future research and communal farm management. en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.subject.other Zoology en_ZA
dc.title Predation impacts on livestock in a communal area of Namaqualand, Northern Cape, South Africa en_ZA
dc.type Thesis / Dissertation en_ZA
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Thesis en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Science en_ZA
dc.publisher.department Department of Biological Sciences en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationlevel Honours en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationname BSc (Hons) en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image


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