Modelling factors influencing the co-existance of pastoralists and carviwores around Botswana Makgadikgadi / Nxai Pans national park
PublisherUniversity of Botswana, www.ub.bw
MetadataShow full item record
Pastoralists and carnivores conflict is a major conservation and rural livelihood challenge given the high rate at which carnivores population decline and the high rate at which livestock is being depredated. The study aimed at determining the rate of livestock predation with respect to land use management, livestock management, and interaction of wild animals and livestock around Makgadikgadi/ Nxai Pans National Park to model factors influencing their co-existence. The study mostly followed quantitative approach even though a mixed method (a combination of quantitative and qualitative approach) using data from a survey questionnaire in appendix 1for primary data, and the Human Carnivore Conflicts (HCC) 2008-2012 Problem Animals Control (PAC) records in appendix 2 and the 1996-2013 DWNP biomass aerial surveys in appendix 3 as secondary data. A purposive sampling method was used to locate Gweta and Tsokatshaa villages sharing the border with Makgadikgadi Pans National Park to be areas of the questionnaire respondents. With the use of a snow ball process households of pastoralists with cattle posts in Tsokatshaa, Gweta North and Gweta South were identified. Data were analyzed using correlation, linear regression, log linear analysis, micro soft excel and ArcGIS 10.1 since they were from different sources and have to be presented in different formats. The results from the questionnaire show that 1 of respondents to the questionnaire used land only for livestock production, and 98% definitely familiar with the concept of human wildlife conflicts and identified livestock predation as the main cause of livestock loss in their cattle posts. Pastoralists whose land of production is more than 21 km from the park and land only for livestock production experienced lower rates of predation compared to those land of production is less than 10 kilometers from the park and use their land for both livestock and crop production. The high frequency of stay in production land that is only for livestock production also lowered the rate of livestock predation. PAC data showed an increase of predation rate from 2008 to 2010 with most preyed livestock being cattle constituting 59% of the total preyed livestock. Pastoralists experienced higher livestock predation where livestock population were higher than wild prey ( p 0.053 0.05 ), where the population livestock population was higher than wild prey population and livestock and wild prey interacted frequently, and the availability of carnivores‘ is high. This is supported by the analysis of Department of Wildlife and Nation Parks (DWNP) aerial surveys 1996-2013 that shows both wild dogs, leopards and lions natural prey are far less than the corresponding livestock biomass as predation is density dependent (Okello, Kirinnge, & Warinwa, 2014). High predation was also experienced where there are many species of carnivores are found and many livestock species are preyed. Pastoralist owning high the number and species livestock experienced high livestock predation ( p < 0.05) showing that minimizing the number and species owned can reduce predation. Herding and kraaling were identified to reduce the predation rates of cattle, goats, horses and donkeys supporting that reducing availability of livestock through effective livestock husbandry should lead to reduced conflict (Valeix, Hemson, Loveridge, & Macdonald, 2012). Calving and watch dogs showed significance in reducing cattle and goats predation respective. To promote good pastoralists and carnivores‘ co-existence pastoralists should use land far from the park, stay in their land of production and use it only for one purpose. The population and interaction livestock and wild life should be controlled to minimize predation in the area. The number and species of livestock should be minimized, and practicing herding, kraaling, calving and using watch dogs to prevent predation in the area hence promoting the co-existence of pastoralists and carnivores.