n Agrekon - Are hunting clubs the solution to small stock depredation? The case of Ceres, 1979 and 1980

Volume 51, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0303-1853
  • E-ISSN: 2078-0400
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In 1979 and 1980 predators were under control on sheep farms in the Ceres Karoo. At the time, a subsidised hunting club assisted landowners with predator control measures. A farm-level analysis of data from the Ceres hunting club's logbooks reveals that four out of five farms have experienced no predator damage whatsoever. For those reporting problems, the typical loss was in the region of one per cent of the estimated turnover. Lynx (caracal), leopards and feral dogs were responsible for most of the damage. Black-backed jackals were not a serious concern, but were also more difficult to catch. Lynx and feral dogs were controlled with ease. Death of some innocent animals was also recorded. The hunting club system thus appears to be succeeding in controlling certain predators, albeit with adverse consequences to other animals. Exploratory statistical analysis establishes that livestock losses lead to increased control efforts, which in turn leads to the death of more targeted and untargeted animals. There is even some evidence that more control efforts reduce stock losses in the following year.

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