DSpace Repository

The impact of pastoral farming and wildlife management practices on lion-livestock interactions in the Kgalagadi-South region of Botswana

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisor Lues, J.F.R.
dc.contributor.advisor Avenant, N.L.
dc.contributor.author Van der Merwe, Sarel Johannes
dc.contributor.other Central University of Technology, Free State. School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences
dc.date.accessioned 2014-10-13T11:19:17Z
dc.date.available 2014-10-13T11:19:17Z
dc.date.issued 2009
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11462/118
dc.description Thesis (D. Tech.) - Central University of Technology, Free State, 2009 en_US
dc.description.abstract All over the African continent south of the Sahara Desert, African lion numbers are plummeting to levels where, over large areas of their remaining distribution range, extinction has become a real threat. The main reason for the decreasing numbers is the increasing conflict between livestock farmers and lions. Lions are forced to kill livestock where their natural prey has been squeezed out by livestock and associated farming practices, and the farmers find it necessary to protect their livelihoods, often through the indiscriminate killing of lions. In the Kgalagadi-South region of Botswana, lion/livestock interactions present a challenge to livestock owners and wildlife managers alike. The relatively low ecological carrying capacity and occupied lion habitats in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (KTP) force some expelled young adult and sub-adult lions southwards into the adjoining Wildlife Management Area (WMA) KD/15, which separates the KTP and the communal grazing area. This WMA most likely also contains resident prides. Some of these predators sporadically enter the livestock grazing area. Similarly, large stock often enters the WMA. It is mostly these boundary transgressions that result in livestock killing, and the reaction of livestock owners often leads to the killing of lions. To gather information concerning the nature and extent of the situation, two questionnaires were prepared with the assistance of the Department of Biostatistics of the University of the Free State, South Africa. One questionnaire targeted livestock owners while the other was aimed at wildlife officials of the Department of Wildlife and National Parks in Botswana and SANParks in South Africa. Both covered the five-year period 2002-2006. A trial run was carried out to adjust to problem-specific circumstances before fieldwork commenced. Fieldwork was done during four consecutive seasons – in January, February, April and December 2007. Thirty livestock respondents and 13 wildlife officials were interviewed during the first two excursions into the study area. The third visit was to plot the cut-line between the WMA and the grazing area (by means of a Global Positioning System or GPS) and to make first-hand observations regarding movement over the cut-line. During all four visits the environmental (including grazing) conditions and density and distribution of wildlife and stock were observed in both the WMA and the grazing areas. The information gathered points towards a seemingly unsolvable situation. The exceptionally high daytime temperatures and food scarcity, brought about by erratic rainfall, overgrazing near boreholes, generally low carrying capacity and low phosphorus (P) levels, force large stock, i.e. cattle, horses, donkeys and mules, to graze far away from the safety of the cattle-posts during the cool hours of the night, thus making kraaling impractical. Such circumstances enhance exposure to lion predation especially in or near the WMA and the KTP fence. Some lions also penetrate deep into the grazing areas, especially in the arid western part of the study area. This study revealed certain weaknesses in current wildlife and livestock management practices in the study area, the sum of which put both farmers and the lion population under extreme pressure. Most of these shortcomings can be rectified without drastic invasive methods. Such adjustments can result in improved livestock and wildlife utilisation and protection of the lions. For example: the placement of mixed phosphorus and salt licks near cattle-posts to fulfil the need for vital micro and macro elements; addressing unnecessary livestock losses, which contribute to a lower income and less tolerance towards predation (e.g. botulism, which may stem from stock chewing on bones in their desire for more phosphorus, and losses to black-backed jackal, Canis mesomelas, in poorly maintained kraals); more drinking troughs at boreholes to prevent unnecessary shoving and minimise energy waste; and the introduction of more bulls to herds to increase the calving percentage. The study further concluded that there is little reason why stockowners should consider protecting lions. It suggests that significant value can be added to the wildlife (and the protection of lions) in the specific area by making farmers and other local residents share in the relatively untapped ecotourism potential of the area. en_US
dc.format.extent 7 276 266 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Bloemfontein : Central University of Technology, Free State
dc.subject Central University of Technology, Free State - Dissertations en_US
dc.subject Agriculture - Botswana - Kgalagadi-South Region en_US
dc.subject Pastures - Management en_US
dc.subject Wildlife management - Botswana - Kgalagadi-South Region en_US
dc.subject Wildlife conservation - Botswana - Kgalagadi-South Region en_US
dc.subject Lions - conservation en_US
dc.subject Dissertations, academic - South Africa - Bloemfontein en_US
dc.title The impact of pastoral farming and wildlife management practices on lion-livestock interactions in the Kgalagadi-South region of Botswana en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.rights.holder Central University of Technology, Free State

Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

Search DSpace


My Account