13-YEAR JOURNEY WITH PREDATION MONITOR FARMS

The report summarises the extraordinary results that have been accomplished from the integrated livestock predation management programme and the impact of management on both livestock and predators.  In 2008 there were 3 320 livestock losses due to predators, which is a substantial loss for farmers and both the wool and meat livestock industries.  Over the 13-year period, these losses gradually reduced to 1 133 by 2020, a remarkable improvement of 65,9%.

Interesting to note that at the start of the programme in 2008, 261 damage causing predators were eliminated on the farms, but increased to 578 in 2020, representing an increase of 121,5%.  As this programme involves the management and removal of unwanted predators, which causes losses on a continuous basis, predators such as black back jackal and caracal have learnt swiftly that livestock kept in smaller enclosures during the night, are easy prey. Black backed jackal also get use to the presence of Anatolian guard dogs and simply outnumber and outsmart them during the daytime, causing substantial losses.

Predation management is therefore not about eliminating all predators (generally referred to as predator control), but rather predation management, which involves utilizing all available methods, including lethal and non-lethal methods, implying to first manage livestock and then to control and manage predators.

The objective of the programme is to assist farmers to minimize losses due to predation, increase weaning percentages and consequently financial benefits, which then contribute to a financially viable farming enterprise.

Click here to read report

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BECOME PART OF NATIONAL PREDATION STRUCTURE

Predation Management South Africa (PMSA), a national entity that aims to mobilize engagement and coordination of activities aimed at reducing the impact of predation through ecologically and ethically acceptable methods to protect the biodiversity of SA, invites all organisations, organized structures, specialists and manufacturers in the livestock and wildlife ranching industries that are directly impacted by predation, to apply as a member.

An annual membership fee (as determined by PMSA from time to time) for affiliated and directly affected members is payable.  Statutory members that include the national departments of agriculture and environmental affairs, as well as provincial conservation authorities and tertiary and research institutions, are not subjected to membership fees.

Refer to the PMSA Constitution and for further information on the objectives and functions of the entity and categories for membership – click here to view the Constitution, associated documentation including Annexure 1 - Members of PMSA and Annexure 2 - Code of conduct for members

Click here for Application for Membership form

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Stray dogs - Control methods vs. Legislation

Managing methods:

Preventive

  1. Dogs
  • Generate a general awareness amongst all dog owners in the community about their responsibility in keeping a dog but also their responsibility towards all other humans in the same community.
  • Encourage residents of the community to minimize the amount of dogs to one per household.
  • Encourage residents to castrate and fixed their dogs.
  • A wandering dog is an unhappy dog with both his home and his owner, scavenging for food; this is the perfect recipe for havoc amongst livestock.
  • If you can’t feed them don’t keep them.
  • They should be loved, trained, supervised and correctly fed to prevent them from becoming wanderers and problem animals.
  • Strive to encourage dog owners to collar all dogs with an identification tag (Owners phone number) to return all lost dogs but also to indentified owners whose dogs caused losses amongst livestock.
  • Dogs should be enclosed at night and not allowed to wander.

    Control and management of Stray dogs

  • It is best to involve the SAPS and SPCA to manage any problem with stray dogs.
  • Always try to identify and inform the owners before any lethal or non lethal management strategies are applied. It is seldom one dog responsible for killing livestock, normally it would be a large specie (Ridgeback) accompanied by a smaller specie like a terrier type of dog.(Jack Russell) Stray dogs normally hunt in packs of two and larger, therefore multiple owners also involved.
  • The use of a professional hunter that is making use of the call and shoot method to eliminate the problematic stray dogs could be used.
  • Stray dogs that persistently caused damage can be caught in cage traps.
  1. Livestock
  • Keeping livestock in an enclosure (Kraaling) at night close to human presence.
  • The size of the enclosure must fit the amount of animals it is keeping. (Too big enclosure, animals will run and injure them against the enclosure when frightened, to small may result in animals trembling each other to death when frightened.)
  • Important that the main objective of kraaling is not solely to prevent livestock from escaping but the main idea is to keep livestock save from any form of predation, therefore the original plan and material used to build the kraal must be done in such a way that it rather keep unwanted animals (Dogs) out of the kraal and away from the livestock.
  • Entrances in and out of the kraal must be fitted with gates with a 100% fitment, not allowing any animals like small dogs entering the enclosure.
  • Solid structure underneath the gate, (stones, cement slab) preventing animals from digging.
  • Predators especially dog like families like to dig through underneath the enclosure, therefore the fitment of an anti crawler like a piece of netting laying flat on the ground on the outside and alongside the sides of the enclosure packed with stones is indispensable.
  • The height of the enclosure must also be high enough to prevent bigger animals from jumping in. If it is found that animals are jumping over the sides of the enclosure a piece of netting (500 mm fitted at 45 degree angle to the outside) could be additionally fitted as an anti climber.
  • Fitment of deterring equipment like bells on animals in enclosure so scare away unwanted predators and also wakening owners.
  • Fitment of Farm Ranger collars to call owners on cell phone when sudden unnatural movement of livestock is noticed.
  • Human herding during day time.
  • Electric fencing
  • Jackal proof fencing

 

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Proposed research on Bushpigs

SANParks Scientist for Wildlife Ecology, Lizette Moolman in collaboration with colleagues Megan Taplin & Stefanie Freitag provided article relating to proposed research on Bushpig as a damage causing animal in protected area buffer zones in the Garden route. (February 2021)  For more information contact Lizette on (044) 343 1302 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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February 2021 Newsletter

The February newsletter informs the reader on proposed research on bush pig behaviour and potential solutions to reduce damage.  Farmers are encouraged to report scenes and exposure to sheep scab in jackal. 

This month, the Predation Management Centre (PMC) focuses on leaflets on damage causing stray dogs.

Read the February newsletter, sponsored by FARMRanger - www.farmranger.co.za 

January 2021 Newsletter

The January newsletter shares the experience of Prins Albert farmer Joseph Steyn in his quest to find a new predator control method by using drones.  

The Predation Management Centre (PMC) has sourced several studies on predators and predation management.  This month they describe some of the most common lethal and non-lethal methods to reduce predation on livestock by caracals. 

Read the January newsletter 

December 2020 Newsletter

The December newsletter wishes all its readers a Blessed Christmas, make mention that Niel Viljoen represented PMSA to inspect fencing around the Karoo National Parks with SANParks and Cape Nature, following complaints of damage causing animals, including lions, escaping the park.  The Predation Management Centre (PMC) avail information leaflets on predators, this month focusing on the feeding patters of the Caracal. 

Read the December newsletter, sponsored by FARMRanger - www.farmranger.co.za 

 

Newsletter November 2020

The November newsletter welcomes newly appointed GM of WRSA to the PMSA structures ; how research priorities have changed from Jackal and Caracal to Stray dogs, Baboons and Bushpigs, requesting research and tertiary institutions as well as research structures within agricultural commodities to consider, pursue and/or fund these priorities ; livestock farmers are invited to take part in a predation survey and the Predation Management Centre (PMC) avail leaflets on predators, specifically the reproduction cycle of the Caracal. 

Read the November newsletter, sponsored by FARMRanger - www.farmranger.co.za 

 

ECONOMIC IMPACT OF PREDATION IN WILDLIFE RANCHING INDUSTRY

The Predation Management Centre (PMC) compiled a summary of the study completed in 2016 on the economic impact of predation in the wildlife ranching industry. The study covered the wildlife industry across South Africa, providing summaries for the economic implications of predation in each of the nine provinces. The following summary provides a broad overview of the study:

SUMMARY OF SCHEPERS (2016): THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF PREDATION IN THE WILDLIFE RANCHING INDUSTRY IN LIMPOPO, SOUTH AFRICA

As compiled by Q Kruger

This study surveyed a random sample of wildlife ranchers who are members of WRSA (which comprises about 20% of privately owned wildlife properties in South Africa). The study covered all the provinces of South Africa, but focussed on the economic impact of predation on marketable wildlife in the Limpopo province because it comprises the largest body of Wildlife Ranching South Africa (WRSA) members and is home to a wide range of wildlife.

Because point of sale values did not exist for the wildlife industry due to varying prices in the different wildlife sectors (e.g. prices of breeding animals are higher than for animals intended for biltong hunting), calculating the direct cost of predation may lead to over- or underestimations. Therefore, the direct cost of predation was calculated per hectare.

The study provides baseline information which can be used by wildlife ranchers to calculate the total cost due to predation on their properties, using the following equation:

Total cost = (Size of the ranch [ha] x wildlife losses x the average price of the animals) + indirect cost per ha x size of the ranch [ha])

For example: a wildlife rancher who keeps nyalas on 5 000 ha can calculate his/her estimated total cost to be ZAR 593 765/year. A wildlife rancher who keeps blesbok on 12 000 ha can incur a total cost of ZAR 668 103/year and a wildlife rancher who keeps black impala and Livingston eland on 6 000 ha can calculate his/her total cost to be ZAR 11 957 637/year.

The table below was compiled from data contained in the thesis for each of the provinces in South Africa. Gauteng is not listed in the table, because the ranches of the wildlife ranchers from Gauteng were in Limpopo.

Table 1 Summary of the wildlife losses reported in each of the Provinces.

Province

Ranchers surveyed

Hectares covered

Total predation losses

Total losses per rancher

Total losses per hectare

Limpopo

201

432 647

13 127

147

0.072

Northwest

61

140 922

2 398

123

0.052

Free State

64

109 345

2 599

174

0.076

Eastern Cape

11

38 350

1 097

109

0.072

KZN

3

3 691

564

292

0.154

Mpumalanga

4

4700

292

173

0.165

Northern Cape

8

112 600

791

163

0.013

Western Cape

2

3 856

20

20

0.007

Factors affecting the level of predation differed among the three wildlife groups (large, small, and scarce species or colour variants) in Limpopo. For instance, the level of predation on small antelope species was lower when non-lethal control such as cameras, lights and/or radios were used. In the large antelope group, predation was higher when black-backed jackals were hunted by specialist hunters. In the scarce species/colour variant antelope group, predation was higher when game ranch owners hunted caracals, but lower when owners managed predation (for example, by lights/radios and cameras)

Wildlife ranchers in Limpopo reported that wildlife losses were caused mostly by leopard, with caracal being the predator causing second most damage. Third most damage was reportedly caused by black-backed jackal (killing mainly large and small antelope species) and cheetah (killing mainly scarce species/colour variant wildlife species).

The study found that game ranchers who physically counted the antelope on their game ranchers reported higher predation than those who estimated losses, because the exact number of losses are known. It is also suggested that physical counting places stress on the animals, which may make them more susceptible to predation.

The study concluded that predation losses will always occur on game ranches, but can be reduced using, preferably non-lethal methods, but also with judiciously use of lethal control. The specific species on the wildlife ranch will determine which management and control methods should be used. It was suggested that predation on wildlife ranches can be reduced when wildlife ranchers act themselves, as well as working together and with livestock producer organisations and organised agriculture.

Click here for the full text copy of this thesis:

Visit the Predation Management Centre website https://www.ufs.ac.za/pmc or contact via e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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REAKTIEWE ROOFDIERBEHEER TEENOOR PREDASIEBESTUUR - watter tipe boer is jy ?

Deur Niel Viljoen, Predasiespesialis 

 Reaktiewe optrede (tydelike verligting)

Jy boer nog met gister se plan op vandag se program

 

 Predasiebestuur (permanente volhoubare oplossing)

Voorkom verliese en hou finansiele voordele in

 

Gebrek aan kennis aangaande roofdiere

Jy maak staat op die aantal jakkalse & rooikatte wat verwyder word.

Deeglike kennis van jou plaas se biodiversiteit.

Jy maak staat op die aantal lammers wat gered word voordat jakkalse en rooikatte noodsaaklik word om te elimineer.

**Lae speenpersentasie

Jy verstaan waartoe jou geweer op 100 m, 200 m & 300 m in staat is.

***Geïntegreerde bestuursplan wat beweidingstelsel, kudde- en roofdierbestuursplan deurlopend evalueer en aanpas.

Jy ken en verstaan die biologie en gedragspatrone van onderskeie predatore

 

Jy is oorgehaal vir optrede nadat die eerste lam gevang is

Krities dat tyd en aandag eweredig oor die hele spektrum van bestuur versprei word.

Jy is oorgehaal vir doelgerigte seisoenale bestuurspraktyke wat roofdiere insluit

 

Enige verlies bly ‘n roofdier die oorsaak.

Verliese word deeglik ondersoek en oorsake bevestig.

Jy doen moeite om te leer en aan te pas.

 

Voortslepende veeverliese.

 

Finansiele voordele

 

Jy dink jy verstaan

 

Jy verstaan


** Die beste speenpersentasie is direk gekoppel aan die boer se vermoë om vroegtydig die mees onvoorspelbare en veranderlike element in sy bestuursplan - die gedrag van rooijakkalse - te identifiseer.

*** Geïntegreerde bestuursprogram:

  1. Roofdierbestuursprogram:  begin by die begin, nl. Kernareas van roofdiere.
  • Indien roofdiere se voorkeurhabitat geidentifiseer is, kan verskeie beheermaatreels toegepas word.
  • In die geval van rooijakkalse, hanteer kernareas altyd asof die diere daar teenwoordig is (alhoewel jy dalk die teelpaar verwyder het, mag nuwe toetreders jou dalk net verras).
  • Beplan vee- en weidingsbestuur maandeliks daarvolgens.
  • Mensgemaakte strukture soos jakkalswerende- en elektrifiserende drade bly verseker ‘n hindernis in hierdie diere se daaglikse beweegroetes. Beskerm jou veekuddes, span lamareas toe, span jakkalse uit of span jakkalse se kernareas uit jou jaarlikse beplande veebestuursprogram. 
  • Gebruik deurlopend met afwissing, die totale roofdier gereedskapsbestuurskis tot jou voordeel.

    2. Kuddebestuursprogram:  kies lamtye noukeurig met inagneming van die veranderlikes in die voedselbehoeftes van predatore.

    3. Beweidingstelsel:  vermy kernareas tydens lamtye.

 

Niel se beste advies:

  1. Hou predasiebestuur by die topbestuur van jou besigheid.
  1. Indien jy delegeer, word dit tweedehands hanteer.
  2. Kennis is mag, maar onthou die rooijakkals het die slag. Wie die vinnigste gaan aanpas, het beslis die meeste mag !!
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