Deter predation of livestock by mammals by having people close by to reduce human-wildlife conflict
Overall effectiveness category Unknown effectiveness (limited evidence)
Number of studies: 1
Background information and definitions
Domestic livestock may be vulnerable to mammalian predators. Livestock can be guarded by animals, especially dogs Canis lupus familiaris, or by people (or both). This intervention involves people remaining close to livestock, either actively guarding or simply as a passive deterrent, such as by bringing livestock in at night to an area adjacent to human habitation. If the intervention results in fewer livestock being predated, this could reduce incentives for carrying out lethal control of predators.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A study in 2001–2005 of bushland and savanna across Laikipia and neighbouring districts, Kenya (Woodroffe et al. 2007) found that when livestock in bomas were accompanied by people, fewer animals were attacked by carnivores, but there was no similar effect for grazing herds. Livestock kept in bomas overnight were less likely to be attacked when more herders were present. Presence of herders did not reduce the risk of attack for herds grazing away from bomas in the daytime (results presented as odds ratios). The 502 grazing herds were accompanied by an average of 2.1 herders. At 491 bomas, an average of 11.3 people were present. The study documented 105 attacks by spotted hyenas Crocuta crocuta, 96 by leopards Panthera pardus, 44 by African wild dogs Lycaon pictus, 35 by lions Panthera leo and 19 by cheetahs Acinonyx jubatus. From January 2001 to June 2005, eighteen local staff verified reports of livestock lost to predation and gathered data on animal husbandry practices used. Attacked herds or bomas were compared to nearby herds (median 656 m away) or bomas (median 323 m away) that had not been attacked.Study and other actions tested