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Showing posts from April, 2016

7 reasons why human-carnivore conflict is more complex than you think

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Last week, I published a journal article on the results of some of my research conducted in Namibia, which looked at what the underlying drivers of human-carnivore conflict were.  This was based on my experience of working and living in Namibia for 2 years, both at a conservation organisation and on livestock farms.

I wrote up a summary of some of these results into a popular press piece, which got published on The Conversation.  Whilst I do love The Conversation as I believe it is a magnificent way for academics to share their research with the general public, they (like many other media outlets) do often manipulate the findings to create a clickbait title to increase readership.  The editor made the title of my research "Why Namibia’s lions and leopards prefer prey from racist farms".  I asked to have this changed because it was not accurate so it got changed into "How lions, leopards and livestock are affected by racism on Namibia’s farms", which was vaguely mor…

Racist farmers report more livestock depredation, theft, poaching

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Reposted from my recent article on The Conversation.

Predators like lions and leopards are becoming more populous in Namibia due to the success of recent conservation measures. These wild animals are unfortunately causing increasing problems on livestock farms, as some of them prefer to eat beef steak for dinner rather than gamey venison. This, unsurprisingly, annoys ranchers, who can turn to their guns for a short-term solution.

Conservationists have been trying to reduce this “human-wildlife conflict” for decades now. They’ve dabbled with livestock-guarding dogs to scare away predators, put up fences to keep livestock away from wild animals, given compensation to reimburse farmers for killed cows or sheep and even marketed “predator-friendly” beef that gives a price-premium to farmers that don’t kill carnivores.

But farmers in Namibia are still reporting increased conflict. Why is this?

Previous research has looked into the environmental factors that affect the situation, such as t…