RSF Supports Endangered Wildlife Trust
In January 2010, the FCF co-managed Rare Species Fund (RSF) donated $5,000 to the Endangered Wildlife Trust, EWT to support of their efforts to address human/wildlife conflicts and protect predators in Africa.
Human-wildlife conflict management is an increasingly important part of the wildlife management profession because of expanding human populations into wildlife-based areas and into the natural ranges of predator and other wildlife species, as well as the intensified land-use practices.
Conflict with wild animals and specifically predators remains an inherent risk of livestock farming within or adjacent to areas where substantial natural habitat still exists and it is therefore a problem inherently linked to this form of agriculture.
One of the most successful methods for small stock and cattle ranchers is the use of livestock guarding dogs, such as Anatolian Shepherd Dogs. These dogs are placed with the stock to protect them from predators, more specifically cheetahs, leopards and hyenas. The dogs are placed with livestock including goats, sheep and recently for the first time in South Africa with cattle. Staff of the Wildlife Damage Prevention Group train the farmers and the Anatolians and monitor these dogs on a monthly basis to ensure that these Anatolians develop into successful livestock guarding dogs. The Endangered Wildlife Trust covers all costs of husbandry, food, (sponsored by IAMS) and veterinary care for 12 months after placement, after which the dog gets transferred to the rancher. Ranchers who have been part of this program, using these dogs have reported up to 95% to 100% reduction in losses after the dogs were placed and trained, compared to frequent losses before. This method protects the livestock effectively reducing conflict and ranchers are no longer forced to result to drastic measures to trap, shoot or poison predators, which benefits the long term existence and conservation of these predators on ranchlands in South Africa.
More about the Endangered Wildlife Trust.