Training

Niel Viljoen, well-known predator management expert, presented a predator-management training course in September 2013 to 33 communal farmers at Middledrift and Idutywa. The course focused mainly on the management of jackal and caracul, although stray dogs also cause stock losses in these areas.  Farmers were requested to take cell phone images of animals attacked by predators in order to determine which predator was responsible and to start keeping record of losses and damages. In most cases farmers would not know which animal attacked their sheep.  By analysing the cell phone images or videos, farmers will be able to choose the appropriate control method.  Niel also demonstrated how to set gin traps for trapping jackal. He stressed the importance of properly trained people setting up these traps.  The different methods for controlling jackal and caracul were explained and farmers were shown how to catch caracul by using trapping cages.  Although traps and trapping cages are necessary for predator control, communal farmers often lack the funds for buying these devices.