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The Status and Conservation Potential of Carnivores in Semi-Arid Rangelands, Botswana
The Ghanzi Farmlands: A Case Study

KENT, VIVIEN TEMPEST (2011) The Status and Conservation Potential of Carnivores in Semi-Arid Rangelands, Botswana
The Ghanzi Farmlands: A Case Study.
Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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The persistence of many species of carnivore may depend on their survival outside protected areas where they come into conflict with humans and their livestock. Knowledge of these wildlife populations and of the perceptions and attitudes of the stakeholders in the areas in which they live is of critical importance in the quest for coexistence.
The Ghanzi farmlands in western Botswana are a prime example of semi-arid rangeland where humans, domestic livestock and wildlife live side by side with varying degrees of success. But little research has been conducted in the area into either the wildlife or the white Afrikaner minority who own the majority of the land. This study aimed to fill some of these gaps in knowledge by adopting an interdisciplinary approach, and employing methodologies from both the biological and social sciences, to determine the potential for conservation of carnivores in the area.
The farm block was found to contain good carnivore species diversity and a reduced, but healthy, naturally occurring prey base. Densities of cheetah and leopard were low, but comparable to, or better than, those reported for other similar environments. A good population of brown hyaena was found to exist in the area which could be of importance to the conservation of the species as a whole. The farming community were supportive of conservation in principle, but generally intolerant of predators that killed their livestock. A wide variety of land management and livestock husbandry practices were apparent, with some farmers prepared to do more than others to actively protect their livestock. Farmers with small stock suffered from greater levels of depredation than those who farmed only cattle, while some species of predator elicited greater feelings of antipathy than others. Some farmers professed a distrust of government interference in their affairs which served to hamper efforts to obtain reliable data on livestock depredation and monitor the lethal control of predators.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:carnivores; predators; conservation; Botswana; Ghanzi; Kalahari; semi-arid rangelands; livestock predation; human-wildlife conflict; Afrikaner; cattle farming; cheetah; leopard; brown hyaena; camera trapping; spoor survey;
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Anthropology, Department of
Thesis Date:2011
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:15 Apr 2011 16:37

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