PR - FACTORS AFFECTING LARGE LIVESTOCK PREDATION IN THE NORTH WEST PROVINCE OF SOUTH AFRICA
Predation is a problem for livestock farmers around the world and farmers suffer with the increasing losses due to predation. The objective of this paper is to contribute to the knowledge of predation on large livestock in the North West province of South Africa. The study also explores the mitigating factors and identifies the best management practices that can lead to the reduction in predation. The study was conducted in the four magistrate districts of the North West province namely: Bojanala Platinum District, Bophirima District, Ngaka Modiri Molema District and Southern District. The sample size of the study was 238 respondents that had a combined total of 122 780 heads of cattle or 16% of the total cattle in the North West province. The principal component regression (PCR) tools were used to analyze the data and deal with the problem of multycollinearity. The Pairwise Granger Causality test was used to analyze the direction of causality. The study included 42 different explanatory variables that were divided into four groups namely: socio economic factors, managerial factors, lethal control methods and non-lethal control methods. The study founded that there were eleven significant variables in the PCR (Logit) and ten significant variables in the PCR (Truncated). The causality tests they showed that none of the Logit variables had a granger cause, but there were two Truncated variables that had a granger cause. These two lethal methods had a negative effect on the level of predation. These results were unexpected, but this effect may be because of inexperienced farmers that kill predators that do not cause problems thereby causing a “vacuum” effect.