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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: More bark than bite? The role of livestock guarding dogs in predator control on Namibian farmlands

Published source details

Potgieter G.C., Kerley G.I.H. & Marker L.L. (2016) More bark than bite? The role of livestock guarding dogs in predator control on Namibian farmlands. Oryx, 50, 514-522


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 before-and-after study in 2009–2010 of 73 livestock farms in Namibia (Potgieter et al. 2016) found that placing dogs Canis lupus familiaris with farmers to guard livestock reduced the overall number of farmers that killed predators, but increased the numbers of black-backed jackals Canis mesomelas killed by farmers and dogs combined. Eighteen percent of farmers killed livestock predators in the year after dog placement compared to 31% in the previous year. The reduction was larger among subsistence farmers (0% after dog placement; 30% before) than commercial farmers (26% after dog placement; 32% before). However, the number of black-backed jackals killed by farmers and dogs combined in the year following dog placement (3.4/farm) was greater than the number killed by farmers alone the previous year (1.7/farm). There were no significant differences for killings of caracal Caracal caracal (farmer and dog: 0.19; farmer: 0.10), cheetah Acinonyx jubatus (farmer and dog: 0.02; farmer: 0.11) or leopard Panthera pardus (farmer and dog: 0; farmer: 0.02). Anatolian shepherd dogs were placed on 53 commercial farms and 20 subsistence farms. Farmers were interviewed between March 2009 and September 2010. Dogs were placed with a livestock flock at eight weeks old and averaged 39 months old at time of the study.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)