Drivers of human-carnivore conflict in Epupa and Okanguati conservancies, Kunene region Namibia.[Unpublished master's thesis]. Namibia University of Science and Technology.

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Namibia University of Science and Technology


Habitat fragmentation has increased the prospect of human and wildlife encounters consequently resulting in conflict. In an agriculture-focused landscape, conflict occurs when wildlife including carnivores destroy property and prey on livestock. Conservancies in Namibia have monitored natural resources inclusive of Human-Carnivore Conflict (HCC) and analysed the temporal trend of conflict over the years. However, the spatial distribution of livestock predation, including potential anthropogenic and environmental risk factors have not been assessed. Using binary logistic regression modelling (GLM), selected environmental (EV) and anthropogenic (AV) variables associated with the occurrence of livestock predation in Epupa (EC) and Okanguati (OC) Conservancies by leopard, caracal, hyena (spotted and brown), cheetah and jackal were investigated. The following data were collected; i) livestock predation data for modelling spatial and temporal distribution, ii) household interviews on livestock predation experience, iii) vegetation structure at killing sites and iv) kraal structure assessment.A total of 425 incidents were reported in EC between 2014-2020 and 523 in OC between 2012-2020 with the highest number of incidents in both conservancies recorded during the wet season. The majority of cases in OC are attributed to cheetah while caracal was responsible for the majority of incidents in EC. Vegetation structure and visibility differed by hunting preferences of the different carnivores. Cheetah hunted in areas with average visibility of 69.5m ± 40.8m, leopard (31.8m ± 29.1m), caracal (49.1m ±18.4m), jackal (68.6m±38.5m) and hyena (50.8m ±17.42m). Leopard killing sites had the lowest tree and shrub density per 50m². Distance to natural and artificial water points is identified as a determinant of livestock predation in both conservancies. The probability of conflict occurrence was higher in proximity to water points. In addition, elevation, distance from houses and fields were also important predictors. The risk of livestock attacks is predicted within the livestock zone, around villages and houses. The structure of kraals that experienced livestock attacks was poor in comparison to kraals that did not experience livestock attacks. The presence of a kraal at some households did not guarantee livestock enclosure at night hence attacks around the house. Furthermore, livestock herding did not prove effective. Livestock predator conflict is a nationwide problem, therefore the application of modelling as a tool of identifying risk areas to align management and mitigation measures could be useful for natural resources managers. In light of the above results, the study recommends strategic location and distribution of water points inclusive of wildlife areas, and conservancies to enforce overnight livestock kraaling in conflict hotspots. Wild prey and carnivore populations are a crucial component in managing and determining the causes of conflict hence conservancies must conduct regular game counts. In addition, the reintroduction of wildlife in the areas should be considered to foster wild prey population growth.



Anthropogenic drivers, Okanguati Conservancy, Kraals, Mitigation, Epupa Conservancy, Environmental drivers, Human-Wildlife Conflict, Human-Carnivore Conflict, GLM, Livestock predation


Iiyambula, A.N. (2021).Drivers of human-carnivore conflict in Epupa and Okanguati conservancies, Kunene region Namibia.