Action: Fit livestock with protective collars to reduce risk of predation by mammals to reduce human-wildlife conflict
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- One study evaluated the effects of fitting livestock with protective collars to reduce human-wildlife conflict on rates of livestock killings by predators. This study was in South Africa.
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- Human-wildlife conflict (1 study): A replicated, before-and-after study in South Africa found that livestock protection collars reduced predation on livestock by carnivores.
Carnivores typically kill their prey by a fatal bite to the neck. Hard collars can protect animals’ necks. This may increase the effort needed by predators to kill livestock and, thus, reduce the likelihood of a fatal bite. If the intervention results in fewer livestock predated, this could reduce incentives for carrying out lethal control of predators.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A replicated, before-and-after study in 2006–2009 of seven livestock farms in savanna and shrubland in Eastern Cape, South Africa (McManus et al. 2015) found that using livestock protection collars reduced livestock fatalities caused by predators, compared to the rate when predators were controlled by lethal means. Results were not tested for statistical significance. When livestock collars were used, 1–12% of livestock were killed each year by predators. When not using livestock collars but, instead, carrying out lethal predator control, 6–31% of livestock were killed. Costs of using livestock collars (3.5 USD/livestock animal) were comparable to those of lethal control (0.7–6.0 USD/livestock animal). In August 2006–August 2007, all seven farms used lethal methods, including trapping and shooting, to control black-backed jackals Canis mesomelas, caracals Caracal caracal and leopards Panthera pardus. In September 2007–September 2009, all farms fitted animals with epoxy–metal mesh collars that protected the animal’s neck from predator bites. Farmers reported numbers of livestock killed by predators, and associated costs, in September in 2007–2009.