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Close proximity between humans and large predators results in high levels of conflict. We investigated the extent of, and factors leading to, this conflict through focal group and individual interviews in all villages around Pendjari Biosphere Reserve, northern Benin. Livestock losses from 2000 to 2007 (n = 752) were reported to be mainly caused by spotted hyaena Crocuta crocuta (53.6%), baboon Papio anubis (24.8%), and lion Panthera leo (18.0%). These predators mainly predated sheep and goats (52.1%) and pigs (42.3%), with lions being the main predators of cattle (78.9%). Lion and hyaena diets were more diverse than that of baboons, which killed only small stock. The level of conflict increased during 2000–2007. Predation rate differs between predator species and is significantly influenced by month, rainfall of the month before the predation event, and length of the dry period in a year. The geographical position of the village, the distance of the village to the Park and the number of herbivores legally killed every hunting season also influenced predation intensity. Our findings suggest that improvement of husbandry techniques and education will reduce conflicts and contribute to improved conservation of these threatened predators.
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Human–carnivore conflict around Pendjari Biosphere
Reserve, northern Benin
ETOT
E
´
P
E
´
A. SOGBOHOSSOU,HANS H. DE IONGH,BRICE SINSIN
GEERT R. DE SNOO and Paul J. Funston
Abstract Close proximity between humans and large pred-
ators results in high levels of conflict. We investigated the
extent of, and factors leading to, this conflict through focal
group and individual interviews in all villages around
Pendjari Biosphere Reserve, northern Benin. Livestock
losses from 2000 to 2007 (n 5752) were reported to be
mainly caused by spotted hyaena Crocuta crocuta (53.6%),
baboon Papio anubis (24.8%), and lion Panthera leo (18.0%).
These predators mainly predated sheep and goats (52.1%)
and pigs (42.3%), with lions being the main predators of
cattle (78.9%). Lion and hyaena diets were more diverse than
that of baboons, which killed only small stock. The level of
conflict increased during 20002007. Predation rate differs
between predator species and is significantly influenced by
month, rainfall of the month before the predation event, and
length of the dry period in a year. The geographical position
of the village, the distance of the village to the Park and the
number of herbivores legally killed every hunting season also
influenced predation intensity. Our findings suggest that
improvement of husbandry techniques and education will
reduce conflicts and contribute to improved conservation of
these threatened predators.
Keywords Benin, livestock–predator conflict, Pendjari
Biosphere Reserve, predation, predator conservation, West
Africa
Introduction
Considerable growth of human populations in the last
few decades has had a significant negative impact on
biodiversity (Hanski, 2005). The degradation of wildlife
habitats has resulted in declines of species, many of which are
threatened with extinction (Ginsberg & Macdonald, 1990;
Nowell & Jackson, 1996; Mills & Hofer, 1998; Woodroffe,
2000). One of the key factors causing the decline of most
large carnivore species is conflict with humans because of
predation of livestock (Cozza et al., 1996; Woodroffe, 2000;
Treves & Karanth, 2003) and attacks on humans (Kerbis
Peterhans & Gnoske, 2002; Packer et al., 2005). Human–
predator conflicts cause significant economic losses (Mishra,
1997; Butler, 2000; Patterson et al., 2004; Van Bommel et al.,
2007; Palmeira et al., 2008) and can lead to retaliatory killing
of predators (Ogada et al., 2003; Holmern et al., 2007), and
thus constitute a threat to both wild species and human
livelihoods (Woodroffe & Ginsberg, 1998; Hussain, 2003).
Human–wildlife conflicts have intensified in most Afri-
can countries in recent decades because of exponential
human population growth and economic activities (Wood-
roffe, 2000; Conover, 2002). The highest intensity conflicts
tend to occur where humans live adjacent to protected areas
(Mishra, 1997; Conforti & de Azevedo, 2003). In Africa there
are a number of larger predator species, including the lion
Panthera leo, leopard Panthera pardus, spotted hyaena
Crocuta crocuta, baboons Papio sp., cheetah Acinonyx
jubatus, African wild dog Lycaon pictus, caracal Caracal
caracal and black-backed jackal Canis mesomelas (Butler,
2000; Patterson et al., 2004; Kolowski & Holekamp, 2006;
Holmern et al., 2007; Van Bommel et al., 2007).
Livestock predation often follows a seasonal pattern
(Butler, 2000; Patterson et al., 2004; Kolowski & Holekamp,
2006) and is influenced by environmental conditions
and husbandry practices (Ogada et al., 2003; Kolowski &
Holekamp, 2006). Most studies of predation on livestock in
Africa have focused on East and Southern Africa, with few
studies from West and Central Africa (Boy, 1962; Sogbohossou,
2004;Bauer&deIongh,2005; Van Bommel et al., 2007;
Garba & Di Silvestre, 2008).
In contrast to East and Southern Africa, West Africa is
characterized by low herbivore biomass (East, 1984; Fritz,
1997) and fragmented wildlife populations mostly confined
to small, unfenced protected areas that are surrounded by
human settlements. The size of many of these reserves doesn’t
guarantee the long-term conservation of their wildlife species
(Woodroffe & Ginsberg, 1998; Brashares et al., 2001). Thus
predation of livestock is inevitable (Binot et al., 2006)and
creates a negative attitude to conservation that can lead to the
retaliatory killing of carnivores (Kolowski & Holekamp, 2006;
Holmern et al., 2007).
The Pendjari Biosphere Reserve in the Republic of Benin
is one of the best managed protected areas in the region,
E
TOTE
´PE
´
A. S
OGBOHOSSOU
(Corresponding author) Laboratory of Applied
Ecology, University of Abomey-Calavi, 03 BP 294 Cotonou, Benin, and
Institute for Environmental Sciences, University of Leiden, Leiden, The
Netherlands. E-mail etotepe@gmail.com
H
ANS
H.
DE
I
ONGH
and G
EERT
R.
DE
S
NOO
Institute for Environmental
Sciences, University of Leiden, Leiden, The Netherlands
B
RICE
S
INSIN
Laboratory of Applied Ecology, University of Abomey-Calavi,
Cotonou, Benin
P
AUL
J. F
UNSTON
Department of Nature Conservation, Tshwane University
of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa
Received 21 February 2010. Revision requested 22 April 2010.
Accepted 21 May 2010. First published online 12 October 2011.
ª2011 Fauna & Flora International,
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, 45(4), 569–578 doi:10.1017/S0030605310001109
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with one of the highest wildlife densities in West Africa
(Delvingt et al., 1989; Lamarque, 2004). However, the
Reserve is located in an important livestock area in one
of the poorest parts of the country. Livestock losses thus
potentially affect the livelihood of local people. The Reserve
is surrounded by a buffer and a hunting zone, intended to
minimize human–wildlife conflict. The objectives of this
study were to assess: (1) which species are responsible for
livestock depredation, (2) any trends and seasonality of
predation, (3) patterns of predation, and (4) any other
factors that influence the occurrence of predation. We
hypothesized that disturbance variables such as presence of
safari hunting, poaching and illegal grazing will affect the
intensity of livestock depredation.
Study area
The study was carried out around the Pendjari Biosphere
Reserve in north-west Benin (Fig. 1). The Reserve is part of
a complex of four adjoining protected areas (W, Pendjari,
Arly and Oti-Mandouri) in four adjacent countries (Benin,
Burkina Faso, Niger and Togo). Pendjari Biosphere Reserve
was established in 1954, upgraded to National Park status in
1961 and to a UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve in 1986.
It comprises Pendjari National Park (2,660 km
2
), Pendjari
and Konkombri Hunting Zones (c. 1,600 and 251 km
2
,
respectively) and a buffer zone with controlled land-use
access for local people (c. 340 km
2
).
The Reserve is bordered to the north and west by the
Pendjari River and to the east by the Atacora mountain
range. In this Sudanian ecosystem the climate is character-
ized by a dry season from October to May and a wet season
with a total annual rainfall of 8001,000 mm. Vegetation is
a mixture of open grass and tree savannahs interspersed
with dry and gallery forests. These habitats harbour a
variety of wildlife species including large carnivores
(Delvingt et al., 1989). The density of lions in the Reserve
is estimated to be between 0.67 (Di Silvestre, 2002) and
1.5lions per 100 km
2
(Sogbohossou, 2009) and the spotted
hyaena occurs at a minimum density of 1.5per 100 km
2
(Sogbohossou, 2009). The cheetah and wild dog popula-
tions, which almost disappeared, seem to be recovering,
although numbers remain low, and there is no estimate of
leopard abundance.
The Reserve is bordered by two main roads, Tanguie
´ta–
Porga and Tanguie
´ta–Batia, along which there are
24 villages (Fig. 1). In addition to native farmers most
villages are also inhabited by Fulani (with one to eight
camps in each village), who are pastoralists. During the dry
season migrating herds of cattle led by Fulani herdsmen
from neighbouring countries reside within or close to the
border of the Park in search of water and fodder.
FIG. 1 Pendjari Biosphere Reserve and the surrounding controlled access and hunting zones. The black-shaded area on the inset
indicates the position of the Reserve in north-west Benin, West Africa.
E. A. Sogbohossou et al.570
ª2011 Fauna & Flora International,
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, 45(4), 569–578
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The Reserve has been financed discontinuously through
several programmes, with funding gaps almost abandoning
the park to poachers during 19821985,19911993 and 1998
2000. Since 2000 the Pendjari Project has managed the
Reserve more intensively and illegal activities within the
Reserve have largely been curtailed.
Methods
Data on the characteristics of human–wildlife conflict were
collected from June to December 2007.All24 villages
surrounding Pendjari Biosphere Reserve were surveyed. We
firstly discussed the history and characteristics of predation in
group interviews. We then visited farmers’ households and
Fulani camps, randomly, to ask more detailed questions about
the characteristics of livestock depredation. In each household
or camp we interviewed the head and if he was absent his
elder son or the head’s wife. Other people present in a house
usually helped in the recall of depredation cases. A total of 387
farmers’ households and 78 Fulani camps participated in the
study. All predation cases from 2000 to 2007 were recorded.
Group interviews allowed crosschecking of the data. Inter-
views were conducted by EAS with the help of a local guide.
Colour plates of predator species were used during the
interviews to ensure correct identification of species and their
spoor. Respondents were also asked to describe the character-
istics of the species to verify identification.
Data were analysed using SAS v.
9
.
1
(SAS Institute, Cary,
USA). We considered predation by lions, spotted hyaenas
and baboons. There were too few records of predation by
leopards, cheetahs and wild dogs (,3per species) for anal-
ysis. Other predators (such as jackals, raptors and snakes),
which mainly attack poultry, were not considered. The
dependent variable is the intensity of depredation expressed
as number of livestock killed. The independent variables
used are presented in Table 1.
The distance to the closest protected area border (hunting
zone or national park) from each village was determined
from coordinates obtained with a global positioning system
and ArcView v.
3
.
2
(ESRI, Redlands, USA). v
2
tests were used
to compare the intensity of depredation between predator
and livestock species. We checked that the variables were not
correlated. For variables with a continuous distribution we
used a principal component analysis (PCA) to examine
which variables significantly influenced the number of pre-
dation events (Table 1). We then tested these relationships
using the Pearson non-parametric correlation.
For variables without the problem of co-linearity we used
general linear modelling (GLM) to assess the relationship
between predation intensity/frequency and the independent
variables. The dependent variable was normalized using
a log transformation. The minimum level of significance
considered was P ,0.05. The GLM results are provided as
Fstatistics.
Results
Livestock husbandry
Agriculture is the main source of rural livelihoods in the
villages surveyed, with small-stock (sheep, goats and pigs)
husbandry being of secondary importance. Cattle ranching,
however, is the principal livelihood of the Fulani herders.
Livestock represent savings for both local farmers and
Fulani: the sale of small stock provides cash income to
compensate for food shortages or to cover other expenses.
Other sources of cash income include cotton cultivation,
ecotourism and trade of natural resources (wood, straw,
fruits) harvested in the Reserve.
Herding characteristics depend on the species and season.
At night small stock are usually kept inside compounds or
tied to trees. During the rainy season small stock are kept in
enclosures, usually made of clay, or tied to trees to prevent
them foraging in cultivated fields. In the dry season small
stock roam freely in the village.
In the rainy season cattle are left to graze around the
villages. During the dry season water and forage close to the
villages become scarce and many Fulani herders allow their
cattle to graze in the hunting zone. Some (1.2%) herders
move their cattle to more humid areas in a rainy season
migration. In this season 3.8% of herders leave the vicinity
of the protected area to avoid conflicts with farmers caused
by the grazing of farms by cattle.
Fulani camps comprise a circle of several huts or tents.
Cattle are usually kept inside the circle of huts but
sometimes a whole herd or a group of calves is kept in
an enclosure made from thorny branches (Acacia spp.,
Dichrostachys cinerea and Balanites aegyptiaca). Thirteen
percent of Fulani herders had received financial support
from a project initiated by the Network of West and
Central Africa for Lion Conservation to construct clay-
brick enclosures to keep calves in at night.
Species involved in livestock predation
Lions (18.0%), spotted hyaenas (53.6%) and baboons
(24.8%) were responsible for most livestock mortalities
recorded (n 5752). Lions and hyaenas mainly attacked
livestock during the night, whereas baboon attacks
occurred during the day. The mean annual livestock
loss per household was 1.8head. The majority of livestock
killed were sheep and goats (shoats, 52.1%), followed by
pigs (42.3%),withcattle(3.7%) and dogs (1.9%)
being infrequently taken. Predation intensity varied
between predators (v
2
566.28;P,0.0001) and between
livestock species (v
2
547.04;P,0.009;Fig.2). Cattle
were mainly killed by lions, and shoats by baboons and
hyaenas. Pigs and dogs were mainly taken by hyaenas
and lions.
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Trends and seasonal distribution of predation
Predation intensity seemingly increased from five cases in
2000 to 222 cases in 2005 (Fig. 3), followed by a decline.
Predation intensity varied by month (F54.43,df511,
P,0.0001) but not by season (F52.40,df51,P50.12).
There was a peak at the end of the dry season in June–July
and another at the end of the wet season in December
(Fig. 4). This peak was particularly noticeable in the villages
bordering the Atacora mountain range along the Tanguie
´ta–
Batia road. On the Tanguie
´ta–Porga road a less pronoun-
cedpeakisevidentinthemiddleofthewetseasontothe
beginning of dry season (Fig. 4). Lions and hyaenas mainly
predated livestock from the end of the wet season to the
beginning of the dry season, with predation by baboons
being most intense at the end of the dry season and from
the end of the wet season to the beginning of the dry
season.
The intensity of predation decreased when the rainfall of
the previous month increased (r5-0.14,P50.007). How-
ever the rainfall of the current and previous years, and the
month of predation, were not significantly correlated with
the intensity of predation. The number of dry months in
the year was significantly negatively correlated with the
intensity of predation (r5-0.13;P50.011).
Geographical distribution of predation
The number of predation events was significantly different
between the villages around the hunting zone (F54.26,
df 525,P,0.001;Fig.5). There was a significant difference
between the two road axes in the number of livestock killed
(F568.18,df51,P,0.0001): 41.3% of the interviewees
along the Tanguie
´ta–Porga road axis and 14.2% of interview-
ees along the Tanguie
´ta–Batia road axis had lost at least one
animal to predation. Livestock predation intensity increased
towards the National Park (r5-0.31;P,0.0001)butnot
relative to the distance from a hunting zone (P .0.05).
Illegal herding and hunting
Only the annual number of herbivores killed by safari hunt-
ing had a significant impact on predation rate (r5-0.11;
P50.03). The PCA and correlation indicated that the
FIG. 2 Overall percentage frequency of attacks by lions Panthera
leo, hyaenas Crocuta crocuta and baboons Papio anubis on
cattle, shoats (sheep and goats), pigs and domestic dogs from
2000 to 2007 around Pendjari Biosphere Reserve (Fig. 1), based
on information from the questionnaire survey.
TABLE 1The independent variables considered, by category, that could potentially influence predation occurrence and intensity around
Pendjari Biosphere Reserve, and the method of analysis used for each variable.
Variable categories Independent variables Type of analysis*
Species involved in predation Predator species GLM
Livestock species GLM
Trends Year of predation GLM
Seasonality Month of predation GLM
Season of predation GLM
Rainfall during month of predation PCA & correlation
Rainfall of month before predation PCA & correlation
Rainfall of year of predation PCA & correlation
Rainfall of year before predation PCA & correlation
Duration of last dry period (months, days) PCA & correlation
Geographical distribution Road axis GLM
Village GLM
Distance from village to hunting zone PCA & correlation
Distance from village to park PCA & correlation
Other factors Number of herbivores hunted in previous year PCA & correlation
Number of lions hunted in previous year PCA & correlation
Number of illegal herders arrested in last 2 months PCA & correlation
Number of illegal herders arrested in last 6 months PCA & correlation
Number of illegal poachers arrested in last 2 months PCA & correlation
Number of illegal poachers arrested in last 6 months PCA & correlation
*GLM, general linear modelling; PCA, principal component analysis
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ª2011 Fauna & Flora International,
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number of poachers and the number of herders arrested in
the National Park in a year may have affected the intensity of
predation in that year but the impact on predation intensity
was not significant (P .0.05).
Discussion
A generic problem with using questionnaires to assess
depredation is that people invariably attribute livestock
mortality to predators (Wagner, 1988; Hoogesteijn et al.,
1993; Rasmussen, 1999). We believe that potential bias was
minimal in this study as each interviewee generally re-
ported few cases of depredation, and the low numbers
involved may have helped the respondents remember
specific cases. In many instances we obtained confirmation
of predation events from neighbours.
There are several possible explanations for the recorded
increase in predation intensity following the more intensive
management of the Pendjari Biosphere Reserve that com-
menced in 2000. Firstly, the implementation of a manage-
ment plan may have enhanced predator populations in the
Reserve (Oli et al., 1994; Saberwal et al., 1994; Mishra, 1997;
Wang & Macdonald, 2006). Survey data suggest that the
number of lions in the Reserve increased between 2002
(Di Silvestre, 2002) and 2009 (Sogbohossou, 2009). Alter-
natively, depredation could have increased because of
growth of the human population, with increased encroach-
ment, reduced natural prey populations and unfavourable
habitat changes (Thouless & Sakwa, 1995; Cozza et al.,
1996; Meriggi & Lovari, 1996; Mladenoff et al., 1997; Dahle
et al., 1998; Mizutani, 1999; Woodroffe, 2000; Liu et al.,
2001; Naughton-Treves et al., 2003; Treves & Karanth, 2003;
Kolowski & Holekamp, 2006). We believe it most likely that
the increase in the number of lions explains the increases in
predation intensity (Di Silvestre, 2002; Sogbohossou, 2009).
Prey selection
Spotted hyaenas, followed by baboons and then lions, were
the predominant predators of livestock. As lions are hunted
FIG. 3 (a) Total number of attacks by lions, hyaenas and baboons, and the three species combined, on livestock, irrespective of species,
and (b) the number of cattle, shoats (sheep and goats), pigs and domestic dogs, killed by all predators combined, around Pendjari
Biosphere Reserve (Fig. 1) from 2000 to 2007, based on the questionnaire survey.
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in the hunting zones it is possible that they occur at lower
densities than spotted hyaenas. This, along with the high
plasticity of hyaenas, may explain the predominance of
hyenas, compared to lions, as livestock raiders (Boydston
et al., 2003). In other areas where lions are at high densities
they tend to be important livestock predators (Karani, 1994;
Kerbis Peterhans & Gnoske, 2002; Patterson et al., 2004).
Similarly, when at high densities spotted hyaenas are
responsible for a high proportion of attacks (Holmern et al.,
2007). Depredation by baboons, which was relatively
important around the Reserve, has rarely been reported
to be a significant problem elsewhere (Butler, 2000).
Although lions preyed on small livestock they were
principally predators of cattle, whereas hyaenas and baboons
mainly attacked small stock. This supports the hypothesis
that selection of livestock species corresponds to the size of
the predator (Caro, 1994; Patterson et al., 2004) in accor-
dance with the size of their natural prey (Bodendorfer et al.,
2006; Hayward, 2006; Bauer et al., 2008). Lions nevertheless
killed a higher proportion of small stock in Pendjari
compared to Waza National Park area in Cameroon (Van
Bommel et al., 2007), Tsavo ranches in Kenya (Patterson
et al., 2004) and around the Serengeti National Park in
Tanzania (Holmern et al., 2007).
Seasonality of predation
Livestock predation usually follows seasonal patterns (Oli
et al., 1994; Michalski et al., 2006) although there are some
exceptions (Holmern et al., 2007). We recorded a peak in
predation by lions and hyaenas in the late wet season,
similar to what has been observed in Tsavo (Patterson et al.,
2004). This is presumably explained by the variation in
prey dispersal with season. During the dry season wild
herbivores tend to concentrate near water sources within
the Reserve, where it is probably easier for lions and hyaenas
to prey on them (Kays & Patterson, 2002). As the wet season
progresses and water is more readily available, prey pop-
ulations disperse widely. In areas with low mean prey density
it may be easier for predators to prey upon livestock at these
times (Hunter, 1952; Ayeni, 1975; Eltringham et al., 1999).
This also probably explains why attacks on livestock were
less important in drier years around Pendjari.
However, the pattern of prey movement in relation to the
seasonal availability of water may vary from area to area. For
example, around Waza National Park lion attacks were only
recorded at villages far away from the Park during the wet
season, whereas they occurred in all seasons around villages
close to the Park (Van Bommel et al., 2007). Thus the season of
FIG. 4 (a) Total number of monthly predation events along the Tanguie
´ta-Batia road, which is bordered by the Atacora mountain range,
and the Tanguie
´ta-Porga road, and mean total monthly rainfall, and (b) total number of monthly attacks by lions, hyaenas and baboons,
for 20002007.
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peak depredation on livestock is seemingly related to prey
distribution and availability and distances of villages from
a protected area. In regions where attacks peak in the dry
season this may be because, subsequent to migration of prey
after the rains, livestock become an easy alternative for resident
carnivores (Rudnai, 1979;Karani,1994). Sometimes predation
increases during calving as calves are easier to attack than adult
cattle (Polisar et al., 2003;Michalskietal.,2006).
Seasonal predation patterns were different, however, for
baboons, which predated livestock mostly during the dry
season. This probably explains the difference between the
two road axes in the seasonal distribution of predation; baboon
attacks are concentrated along the Tanguie
´ta–Batia road
because of its proximity of the Atacora mountains. The dry
season begins in November–December, the period when local
people set fires to burn the bush. At this time even the hills,
a prime baboon habitat, are burned. Thus it probably becomes
increasingly difficult for baboons to feed in the wild. Livestock
in villages bordering the Atacora mountains thus become an
alternate source of food. New forage after the fires draws the
baboons away from the villages. Towards the end of the dry
season food becomes scarce again, resulting in baboons again
predating livestock. Increased predation by baboons in periods
of wild food shortage has also been reported in Uganda
(Naughton-Treves et al., 1998) and in Zimbabwe (Butler, 2000).
Husbandry techniques
Husbandry techniques may have a great impact on live-
stock predation (Robel et al., 1981; Oli et al., 1994; Cozza
et al., 1996; Mishra, 1997; Ogada et al., 2003; Patterson et al.,
2004; Wang & Macdonald, 2006; Van Bommel et al., 2007;
for a different opinion see Graham et al., 2005).
In the Pendjari area traditional enclosures, which are
low, with sparse branches, and the absence of enclosures in
most cases, probably encourage livestock predation (Butler,
2000; Mazzolli et al., 2002; Wang & Macdonald, 2006).
Improved fences and walls are inexpensive and are sustain-
able methods of deterring predators (Jackson & Wangehuk,
2001; Ogada et al., 2003; Treves & Karanth, 2003); it would
be of value to test them around Pendjari. Dogs are relatively
inefficient against predators and also served as prey. Similar
cases were reported from around Waza (Van Bommel et al.,
2007) and Serengeti National Parks, where hyaenas kill
dogs (Holmern et al., 2007). However, guarding dogs and
other guarding animals have proved to be successful
elsewhere (Marker-Kraus et al., 1996; Bangs & Shivik,
2001; Marker, 2002; Ogada et al., 2003; Rigg et al., 2011).
The efficiency of guarding animals probably depends on
the size and character of the breed and on the size of the
predator to be deterred. In Pendjari dogs were reported to
FIG. 5 Predation rates around Pendjari Biosphere Reserve. The size of the circles for each village around the hunting zone indicates the
total number of predator attacks during 20002007.
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be efficient against jackal and baboon attacks but not
against lions or hyaenas.
Other factors
Our results suggest that distance to the Reserve was
strongly correlated with predation risk. This is similar to
results from Waza National Park (Van Bommel et al.,
2007), the Serengeti (Holmern et al., 2007) and Brazil
(Michalski et al., 2006; Palmeira et al., 2008). The effect of
distance could be related to species. Lions usually stay close
to their natural habitat whereas hyaenas often move far
from protected areas (Kruuk, 1972; Hofer & East, 1993;
Mills & Hofer, 1998; Holmern et al., 2007). In Pendjari it
was the distance to the Reserve more than the distance to
the hunting zone that influenced predation patterns. Thus
the Reserve is the main source of wildlife utilized in the
hunting zones, which largely function as a sink and thus as
a buffer. This pattern has been found in many other areas
(Doak, 1995; Noss et al., 1999). However, the low density of
competitors in hunting zones may attract wildlife and
predators, which may then further disperse into villages,
creating conflicts. Thus it is debatable whether hunting
zones successfully act as buffers.
We expected that factors affecting the integrity of the
vegetation and of natural prey populations, such as poach-
ing, illegal grazing and safari hunting, would influence
conflicts. However, only the number of herbivores shot
annually significantly affected the predation rate. The non-
significant impact of illegal grazing and poaching could be
related to the relatively low numbers of herders and
poachers arrested every year in the Reserve because of the
increase in patrolling by the rangers.
Implications for conservation
Our findings suggest that conflicts could be significantly
reduced by improving husbandry practices. This includes the
construction of predator-proof enclosures and a change in
herding practices. The park staff, the Wildlife Office and
NGOs working in the area should focus on education. As
benefits from wildlife can positively affect attitudes (Oli et al.,
1994; de Boer & Baquete, 1998; Conforti & de Azevedo, 2003;
Mishra et al., 2003), decision makers and conservationists
need to ensure that people receive benefits from the Bio-
sphere Reserve. Local people are already involved in reserve
management, and receive 30% of the safari hunting revenues.
Furtherstudies,however,wouldfacilitateabetterassessment
of the impact of these revenues and the determinants of
people’s perceptions and attitudes in this area. Although
direct financial compensation is an alternative to the
augmentation mitigation measures (Michelle & Smirnov,
1999; Stahl et al., 2001; Wang & Macdonald, 2006)thismay
not be an appropriate approach for a relatively poor country
such as Benin where it is already difficult to secure funds for
conservation. Any measures applied need to be based on the
knowledge of factors that influence local attitudes (Zimmer-
mann et al., 2005)andnotjustareplicationofwhatis
applied elsewhere (Treves & Karanth, 2003).
Mitigation measures need to be underpinned by a thor-
ough understanding of the socio-ecology and use of space by
large predators, which could influence mitigation measures
(Stahl et al., 2001). Previous studies, particularly of lions,
have shown that conflicts are mostly with problem individ-
uals (Stander, 1990; Woodroffe & Ginsberg, 1998;Patterson
et al., 2004; Bauer & de Iongh, 2005). To limit the territorial
expansion of predators into human settlements around
Pendjari Biosphere Reserve investigations are required to
identify management actions that need to be conducted in
the Biosphere Reserve by the Wildlife Office.
Acknowledgements
Financial support for this work was provided to EAS
by the Netherlands Organization for International
Cooperation in Higher Education and Research and
a Kaplan Graduate Award from Panthera Foundation.
We thank the Wildlife Office (Centre National de Gestion
des Re
´serves de Faune) and the Pendjari Project for
allowing us to work in Pendjari Biosphere Reserve.
We are grateful to A. Gbangboche, R. Glele Kakai and
P. Vos for their help with statistical analyses, and to
P. Neuenschwander and two anonymous reviewers for
their helpful comments.
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Biographical sketches
ETOTE
´PE
´A. works to conserve carnivores in West and Central Africa
and is interested in lion ecology and behaviour and human–lion
conflict in West Africa. HANS H. DE IONGH is involved in research
on the conservation of large carnivores in West and Central Africa.
BRICE SINSIN has led several programmes on natural resources and
conflicts related to wildlife conservation in West African protected
areas for more than 20 years. GEERT R. DE SNOO works in
conservation biology with a focus on the impact of human activities
on biodiversity. PAUL J. FUNSTON has studied the conservation of
large carnivores and behavioural ecology in Africa for the last
20 years.
E. A. Sogbohossou et al.578
ª2011 Fauna & Flora International,
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, 45(4), 569–578
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... On the other hand, most respondents reported that olive baboons predated on lamb and young goat age groups. Similarly, baboons are known to predate small livestock (young goats and sheep) around the Pendjari Biosphere Reserve in northwestern Benin (Sogbohossou et al., 2011) and Wonchit Valley in Ethiopia (Kifle and Bekele, 2020b). Predators attacked mostly livestock species in their own body size range ( Mukeka et al., 2019). ...
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Human–wildlife conflicts are increasing worldwide, and are typically most intense in human-dominated unprotected areas where local people, livestock and wildlife share the same landscapes. Such conflict becoming severe as wildlife species damage crops and predate livestock, and the subsequent factors undermine ecosystem conservation efforts of wildlife in a region. Between March and June 2017, I conducted a questionnaire-based interview with 124 local farmers to examine the extent of human-olive baboon (Papio anubis) conflict and their conservation attitudes towards baboons in Wollo, Ethiopia. All respondents reported that crop foraging and small livestock (sheep and goats) predation were the two main human-olive baboon conflict causes in the region. Most respondents placed olive baboons as the second most destructive crop pest after geladas (Theropithecus gelada), and as the first most small livestock predator followed by leopard (Panthera pardus). Most farmers placed bean (Vicia faba) as the first most frequently raided crop by olive baboons followed by sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) and maize (Zea mays). In the two years period (between 2015 and 2016), most (70.2%) respondents claimed that they lost their small livestock to olive baboons, with an annual average loss of 2.5 heads per year, equivalent to US$ 52.26. I found that most (80.7%) respondents had negative attitudes towards olive baboons, and 81.9% r were not interested to olive baboon conservation in their localities. Most farmers agreed guarding as the best mitigation measures to minimize crop and livestock losses. The result shows that human-olive baboon conflict create negative impact on both farmers’ livelihood and baboon conservation in the region. I suggest that to mitigate human-olive baboon conflict shifting guarding system among local farmers as the means of keeping crop fields and small stock, and educating people about the ecosystem services of baboons as well as creation of a protected area should be considered in the region.
... While this study only investigated the potential impacts of crop raiding on communities' attitudes toward wildlife, factors other than crop raiding may also influence perceptions. Around the Pendjari Biosphere Reserve in northern Benin, frequent livestock depredation by wild animals surrounding the reserve creates conflict between farmers and wildlife [74], which is believed to possibly impact farmers' perceptions of wildlife and attitudes towards conservation [75]. In particular, species such as baboons may kill or attack domestic livestock, decreasing their favorability among farmers [76]. ...
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The attitudes of community members living around protected areas are an important and often overlooked consideration for effective conservation strategies. Around Kibale National Park (KNP) in western Uganda, communities regularly face the threat of crop destruction from wildlife, including from a variety of endangered species, such as African elephants (Loxodonta africana), common chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), and red colobus monkeys (Piliocolobus tephrosceles), as well as other nonhuman primates, including olive baboons (Papio anubis). These frequent negative interactions with wildlife lead many community members to resent the park and the animals that live within it. To mitigate these issues, community members around KNP partnered with researchers to start a participatory action research project to reduce human-wildlife interactions. The project tested four sustainable human-wildlife conflict mitigation strategies: digging and maintaining trenches around the park border, installing beehive fences in swampy areas where trenches could not be dug, planting tea as a buffer, and growing garlic as a cash crop. These physical exclusion methods and agriculture-based deterrents aimed to reduce crop destruction by wild animals and improve conditions for humans and wildlife alike. We conducted oral surveys with members of participating communities and a nonparticipating community that border KNP to determine the impact of these sustainable human-wildlife conflict mitigation strategies on attitudes toward KNP, wildlife officials, and animal species in and around KNP. We found that there is a positive correlation between participation in the project and perceived benefits of living near KNP. We also found that respondents who participated in the project reported more positive feelings about the Uganda Wildlife Authority, the organization that oversees KNP. This research will help inform future conservation initiatives around KNP and other areas where humans and animals face conflict through crop damage.
... Based on the present ndings of WDE spatiotemporal behaviour and estimates of vital rates, several explanations about multiple processes interacting in the environmental, anthropogenic and conservation context of the park, which inherently affect the small population of WDE, can be inferred. One explanation may suggest that a low proportion of AD WDE and higher JUV survival rates may re ect the in uence of growing populations of apex predators in the NKNP, speci cally the population of lions [56], which may preferentially target the adult individuals [57]. The age-sex structure also encourages the interpretation that the adult animals are exposed to human-related factors, which prevents them from expanding from the core area of their distribution, exacerbating male-male competition in the limited space [32]. ...
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The effective conservation of mammals on the brink of extinction requires an integrated socio-ecological approach, yet the updated ecological knowledge of species remains fundamental. This study brings spatiotemporal behaviour, population structure, age-specific survival rates, and population size estimate of the Western Derby eland (WDE) in the Niokolo Koba National Park (NKNP), Senegal, investigated during dry seasons 2017 and 2018. WDE was strongly localised in the core area of NKNP (< 5%), the most active during the hottest periods of the day, with a mean group size 7.6 ± SE 8.9. The adult sex ratio was female-biased and showed low annual adult male survival rates. The population consisted of high proportion of juveniles, whilst adults did not exceed 40%. The estimated population density was 0.138 WDE/km ² (± 0.0102) and estimated size 195 WDE in NKNP. Findings highlighted that the WDE population has potential to expand in the NKNP, due to an underutilized capacity. The age-specific vital rates indicate adult males as the most vulnerable; suggesting either an increase in the large predators’ population, livestock encroachment pressure, and/or poaching. Findings imply that targeted monitoring with science-based interpretation may bring forward strong conservation solutions to the protected area management decision-makers.
... Based on the present ndings of WDE spatiotemporal behaviour and estimates of vital rates, several explanations about multiple processes interacting in the environmental, anthropogenic and conservation context of the park, which inherently affect the small population of WDE, can be inferred. One explanation may suggest that a low proportion of AD WDE and higher JUV survival rates may re ect the in uence of growing populations of apex predators in the NKNP, speci cally the population of lions [56], which may preferentially target the adult individuals [57]. The age-sex structure also encourages the interpretation that the adult animals are exposed to human-related factors, which prevents them from expanding from the core area of their distribution, exacerbating male-male competition in the limited space [32]. ...
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Background: The effective conservation of mammals on the brink of extinction requires an integrated socio-ecological approach, yet the knowledge of updated species distribution, population size, and life-history remain fundamental steppingstones in designing successful conservation plans. This study presents the first clarification on the population status of the critically endangered Western Derby eland (WDE) within its last stronghold, based on the first camera trap monitoring in the Niokolo Koba National Park (NKNP, Senegal). The spatiotemporal pattern of WDE behaviour, their population structure (based on individual recognition), age-specific survival rates, and population size estimate were investigated. Results: WDE were recorded during 49 events using dry season deployments (2017, 2018), during which they showed substantially lower occupancy (< 5% of protected area) in comparison to other ungulates in the park. WDE distribution, as of that of many other large mammal species, was strongly localised in the core area of NKNP. Based on the records, WDE were the most active during the hottest periods of the day. Group size ranged from 1 to 32 individuals (mean 7.6 ± SE 8.9), with mixed herds being larger and most frequent compared to others. The adult sex ratio was female-biased, and showed low annual adult male survival rates. The population consisted of a relatively high proportion of juveniles, whilst the proportion of adults did not exceed 40%. The estimated population density is 0.138 WDE/km² (± 0.0102), with an estimated 195 WDE in NKNP. Conclusions: Findings highlighted that the WDE population has potential to expand in the NKNP, due to an underutilized capacity, and considering the population density. The age-specific vital rates indicate that adult males are the most vulnerable; which suggests either an increase in the large predators’ population, livestock encroachment pressure, and/or poaching. The occurrence of WDE indicated the key conservation area within the park, and together with their active behaviour during daylight periods, this enables the setting up of effective species protection. The findings imply that targeted monitoring with science-based interpretation may bring forward strong conservation solutions to the protected area management decision-makers.
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Conflict with humans and habitat fragmentation are major threats to large carnivores in Africa, and transboundary protected areas may ease some of the space requirements for individual countries. The W-Arly-Pendjari complex (WAP) in West Africa sits across Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger and is the last regional stronghold for many species, including the regionally critically endangered lion Panthera leo. However, variation in monitoring efforts, limited resources and imperfect coordination confound their conservation. We demonstrate a cost-effective and scalable design to effectively identify the landscape-level factors that limit the distribution and abundance of large carnivores and their preferred prey. We used an occupancy framework for a combination of spoor and line transect data. We found a high degree of variation in prey density, strongly related to evapotranspiration. Lion occupancy increased in areas of high riparian forest cover, far from hunting concessions and with more pastoralist activities. Hyaena occupancy was inversely related to anthropogenic pressures, and positively related to dense vegetation and overall prey density. We discuss conservation challenges such as illegal hunting and grazing in the context of transboundary management.
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The seasonal food habits of brown bears Ursus arctos were estimated based on the analysis of 266 scats in central Norway and Sweden. Free-ranging domestic sheep Ovis aries were common in the Norwegian part of the study area, but were not found in the Swedish part. Correction factors were used to correct for differences in digestibility and nutritional value of different foods. Because correction factors for ungulates are difficult to estimate, the results should be interpreted with some caution. In terms of digestible energy, ungulates, mostly carrion, were the most important food in both areas during spring. During summer, ants, forbs, and ungulates (reindeer Rangifer tarandus and moose Alces alces) were the most important food items in the Swedish area, and sheep were most important in the Norwegian area. The autumn diet was dominated by berries in the Swedish area and sheep and berries in the Norwegian area. Among berries, crowberry Empetrum nigrum was the most important species, followed by bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus in Sweden. The major difference between the Swedish and Norwegian areas was the large consumption of sheep in Norway, which provided protein and lipids, and was associated with a relatively reduced consumption of ants and forbs in summer and berries in the autumn. Based on different ingestion rates among the seasons, we estimated the relative contribution of major foods to total digestible energy. In the Swedish area, bears obtained 44-46 and 14-30% of their total annual energy from berries and ungulates, respectively. The remaining energy was obtained from insects (14-22%, mostly ants) and forbs and graminoids (12-18%, mostly blue sow thistle Cicerbita alpina). In Norway, bears obtained 65-87% of the energy from ungulates (mostly sheep), 6-17% from berries, 5-13% from insects, and 2-6% from forbs and graminoids. To gain weight prior to denning, brown bears in Norway selected lipid-rich and easily obtainable sheep in summer and autumn. In Sweden, they relied on carbohydrate-rich berries in autumn.
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Wolves (Canis lupus) were once common throughout North America but were deliberately exterminated in the lower 48 United States, except in northeastern Minnesota, primarily because of depredations on livestock. Wolves remained abundant in areas with few livestock such as most of Canada and Alaska. Sixty years after being nearly exterminated, the gray wolf was listed under the United States Endangered Species Act (Act) in 1974. The combination of natural recovery in NW Montana, and reintroduction in central Idaho and the Greater Yellowstone area (NW Wyoming, eastern Idaho, and SW Montana) has resulted in an expanding wolf population (Bangs et al. 1998). In this paper we discuss our attempts to minimize conflicts between wolves and livestock and to build human tolerance for restoring wolf populations.
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Long-term records of individual Panthera leo permitted the categorization of stock-raiding lions as habitual "problem animals' or "occasional stock raiders'. Management strategies for each group under varying conditions are presented, with optimal solutions emerging as translocation for occasional stock raiders and elimination for problem animals. -from Author
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This study of leopard predation on livestock was carried out on the Lolldaiga Hills ranch (200 km2) in the Laikipia District in Kenya between September 1989 and August 1995. The aims of the study were to find out whether leopards depend on livestock as a food resource on the ranch, and to quantify the economic impact of leopards on the livestock production systems. The density of leopards was estimated in three ways, and the biomass density of potential prey for leopards, both wild and domestic. Diet analysis of leopards revealed that leopards are not relying on livestock as an important food resource. To quantify the effects of leopards, an approach used in the economic assessment of agricultural development schemes was adopted (Gittinger, 1982) and models were derived by following those criteria. It was found that leopards, not being persecuted, live at a relatively high density on the ranch but have less of an adverse impact on livestock than might be expected. Wildlife as a food resource for leopards and a buffer against the killing of livestock could be of benefit on a working ranch to reduce the economic impact of predators on the production system.
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In this study we evaluated the efficacy of several husbandry methods in reducing sheep losses to coyotes (Canis latrans) and dogs. Findings are considered applicable to most sheep operations managed under farm-flock conditions. We monitored sheep losses of 109 producers monthly in a 9-county area of south central Kansas to assess husbandry effects. Cooperators reported deaths of 1,362 stock sheep and 2,230 lambs during the 15-month study, 229 (17%) and 278 (12%) of which, respectively, were killed by canine predators. Total annual losses of stock sheep and lambs were 6.7 and 7.9%, respectively; annual loss to predators was <1%. More than 80% of the predator-caused sheep deaths were in flocks of 22% of the producers. Sheep losses were slightly higher where coyote-abundance indices were high. Husbandry techniques that have the potential to significantly reduce sheep losses to canine predators include night confinement, lighting corrals, fall lambing, proper disposal of sheep carcasses, and killing individual predators that cause sheep losses.