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Study Examines Conflict Between Farmers And Livestock Predators
A new Journal of Wildlife Management study conducted in South Africa has found that black-backed jackals, a similar species to coyotes and dingoes, prefer to eat livestock rather than similar-sized wild prey, which has important consequences for livestock husbandry and the management of predators.
Jackals are opportunistic predators, eating whatever prey is available, including rodents and insects. The study shows that farmers need to protect their livestock from jackals even when similarly sized wild prey (small antelopes) are available because of their preference for sheep and goats.
The issue of predation on livestock in South Africa is complex and contentious, and it has been challenging to determine how best to reduce livestock losses without adversely affecting wildlife welfare and biodiversity. These challenges mirror those throughout the world wherever predators and livestock coexist and affect livelihoods, food security, biodiversity conservation, and animal welfare.
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