A socio-ecological landscape approach to human-wildlife conflict in Northern Botswana

Dunnick, Jeffrey, Hartley, Robyn, Rutina, Lucas, Alves, Joana and Franco, Aldina (2019) A socio-ecological landscape approach to human-wildlife conflict in Northern Botswana. Oryx. ISSN 0030-6053

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Human-wildlife conflict (HWC) is considered one of the most pressing issues facing conservation today, with negative impacts being felt disproportionately by the rural poor leading to the persecution of large predators. To overcome this, socio-ecological studies that merge existing knowledge of large predator ecology with long term livestock depredation monitoring are required. This study examined key patterns and drivers of livestock depredation in northern Botswana, using a mixed effects model of the government’s long term HWC monitoring data to identify depredation reduction measures at key spatial and temporal scales. The results were contrasted to farmers’ understanding of their personal risk within the landscape. The location of 342 depredation events occurring between 2008 and 2016 were influenced by distance to protected area and predator and herbivore density, with increased depredation in the wet season using variables measured at a 2km scale. Herbivore density was not significant at the 1km scale but all other variables were unchanged. The 4km scale model was influenced by livestock and herbivore density with increased depredation in the wet season. An 8km livestock free buffer along the protected area boundary, if established, could reduce livestock depredation. There was a clear disparity between government HWC monitoring, interview depredation monitoring and farmers risk awareness. Farmers across the community would benefit from workshops providing appropriate tools to make evidence-based decisions to minimize their risk to HWC. This will ultimately contribute to conservation of wildlife in the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2019 11:30
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2020 01:56
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/70006
DOI: 10.1017/S0030605318001394

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