PR - Factors Affecting Small Livestock Predation In The Western Cape Province Of South Africa
Small livestock farmers in South Africa suffer from increasing losses due to predation. Predation losses increased to such an extent that small livestock farming in not viable any more in certain small livestock producing areas. The objective of this study is to determine the predation losses due to predators and identifying the variables that influences the occurrence and level of predation. This can help to develop management systems to reduce predation losses. The black-backed jackal and the caracal are two important medium-sized predators species among the South African wildlife, but they have a negative impact on the livestock industry in South Africa, especially among sheep and goats. The Western Cape Province of South Africa incurred losses in 2010 up to R 104 980 967 ($ 1 165 663). The physical monetary value attached to predation in this study was only the direct cost of predation and do not include indirect cost of controlling damage-causing animals. It was hypothesised that the variables affecting the occurrence of predation and the variables that affected the level of predation was not the same. Therefore, it was necessary to use the Probit and Truncated regression models. The information collected in this study showed that predation is a serious problem for the South African small livestock sector. This study does not answer all questions on predation, but provides valuable information in understanding the magnitude or extent of predation and some of the factors influencing predation on farms.
Keywords: predation, small livestock, South Africa