Conservation Evidence strives to be as useful to conservationists as possible. Please take our survey to help the team improve our resource.

Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Efficacy of guard Ilamas to reduce canine predation on domestic sheep

Published source details

Meadows L.E. & Knowlton F.F. (2000) Efficacy of guard Ilamas to reduce canine predation on domestic sheep. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 28, 614-622

This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Use guardian animals (e.g. dogs, llamas, donkeys) bonded to livestock to deter predators to reduce human-wildlife conflict Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated, controlled study in 1996–1997 on pasture in Utah, USA (Meadows & Knowlton 2000) found that using llamas Lama glama to guard sheep flocks reduced canine predation on lambs in one of two summers. Sheep flocks guarded by a llama lost a lower proportion of lambs to predators in the first summer season than did flocks without llamas. There was no significant difference in losses during the second summer season. Actual loss rates were not presented. Predation rates of ewes and predation in the winter season were very low across all flocks. Coyotes Canis latrans, domestic dogs Canis lupus familiaris and red foxes Vulpes vulpes accounted for 92% of losses to predators. Flocks with llamas averaged 301 sheep (including lambs). Flocks without llamas averaged 333 sheep and lambs. Twenty flocks were each guarded by a single llama. The number of flocks without llamas varied through the study, due to splitting and merging of flocks, from 8 to 29. Sheep producers reported fortnightly, from May 1996 to December 1997, on predation events and flock sizes.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)