The annual report by Niel Viljoen, which culminates 14 years of findings and formulated results on 27 monitor farms, situated across 6 provinces, covering a total area of 136 214 hectares, has established itself as the longest continuous predator research and monitored project in South Africa’s history.
It summarises the extraordinary results that have been accomplished from the integrated livestock predation management programme and the impact of management on both livestock and predators.
Livestock losses due to predators were drastically reduced from 2008, when the number of losses on all the monitored farms equaled 3 320. This number of losses were reduced over the 14-year period to 1 150 in 2021. This indicates a decline of 2 169 less losses or an improvement of 65,3%. The programme started with a total national average loss of 13.2% and with the implementation of sound predation management practices through this programme, resulted in average livestock losses of below 2.5%.
One of the graphs confirmed that the primary predator responsible for the biggest number of livestock losses in SA is the Black backed Jackal. Another interesting fact is the number of caracals removed over the past 6 years, have been relatively stable and much lower than for jackal. The intense drought of the past number of years could be the main reason for this.
Predation management is therefore not about eliminating all predators (generally referred to as predator control), but rather predation management, which involves utilizing all available methods, including lethal and non-lethal methods, implying to first manage livestock and then to control and manage predators.
The objective of the programme is to assist farmers to minimize losses due to predation, increase weaning percentages and consequently financial benefits, which then contribute to a financially viable farming enterprise.
The National Woolgrowers’ Association of SA (NWGA) and Red Meat Producers’ Organization (RPO) are thanked for their financial support.
Na aanleiding van verslag wat 2020 gelewer is, het Landbou.com op 23 Junie 2021, die volgende artikel geplaas hoe die monitering op plase 'n daling van veeverliese teweeggebring het.