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A Guidebook on the Methods to Reduce the Conflict between Livestock and Carnivores
A Guidebook on the Methods to Reduce the Conflict between Livestock and Carnivores

 

 Every year, the human-wildlife conflict causes great losses in the world. One of the important measures for environmental protection is the effort to reduce the conflict between humans and wildlife. As such, Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation in collaboration with the Conservation of Asiatic Cheetah Project (CACP) compiled and released a booklet entitled “A guide on livestock-carnivore conflict mitigation methods: An overview on the issues of Touran Biosphere Reserve” in December this year.

The information in this booklet stems from literature review on human-wildlife conflict mitigation methods in the world. The main goal of the project that the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation has started to implement since August 2013 is to help reduce the intensity of human-wildlife conflict in Touran Biosphere Reserve.

In the preface, the Guide states: “…Iranians are the world’s oldest livestock farming. Iran has a history of livestock farming which dates back ten thousand years. Wild carnivores attacking livestock farming has long been, and remains, a major environmental issue. But today, in many parts of the country, the decrease in the population of wild herbivores such as wild sheep and goats, gazelle, jebeer gazelle, red deer and roe deer has led to increased carnivore predation on livestock.”

Touran Biosphere Reserve is one of the main habitats for critically endangered Asiatic cheetah and various species of carnivores such as Persian leopard, wolf, hyena and caracal, also happens to be a major grazing zone for livestock in the country. Hence, this area has witnessed a major conflict resulting in damages to livestock keepers as well as to the wildlife.

In this booklet, the conflict mitigation methods have been outlined in six main sections: (1) building barriers, (2) the use of guard animals, (3) increasing human presence, (4) proper handling of domestic animal carcasses, (5) the use of warning devices and (6) the use of repellant devices.

The methods have been researched in collaboration with environmental experts of Semnan Department of Environment and a number of livestock keepers in Touran Biosphere Reserve. We have tried to localized them to conditions prevailing in such habitats.

Most herders use such conflict reduction methods on a regular basis but need to improve the way they implement them. Other methods also exist around the world that have not yet been tried in Iran. Some new methods were identified subsequent to the research efforts for this project which were deemed effective for Touran region.

It should be noted that the methods introduced in this booklet can only be most effective if the right infrastructure is put in place. In addition, to properly apply some of these methods, further studies may be needed prior to their implementation.

We intend to distribute several copies of ” A guide on livestock-carnivore conflict mitigation methods: An overview on the issues of Touran Biosphere Reserve ” among livestock keepers in Touran region. We hope this booklet besides other activities help to mitigate livestock-carnivore conflict and damage and increase productivity among livestock owners in long-term.

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