The ecological effects of livestock guarding dogs (LGDs) on target and non-target wildlife

Smith, B.R. ORCID: 0000-0002-7435-9265, Yarnell, R.W. ORCID: 0000-0001-6584-7374, Uzal, A. ORCID: 0000-0001-6478-1895 and Whitehouse-Tedd, K. ORCID: 0000-0003-0061-489X, 2020. The ecological effects of livestock guarding dogs (LGDs) on target and non-target wildlife. Journal of Vertebrate Biology. ISSN 2694-7684 (Forthcoming)

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Abstract

Livestock guarding dogs (LGDs) are used across the world to reduce livestock depredation by free-ranging predatory wildlife. In doing so, they reduce the need for lethal predator control and are considered beneficial for conservation. However, LGDs might be perceived as predators by wildlife and induce a multitude of both positive and negative ecological effects. We conducted a literature review to evaluate the ecological effects of LGDs and found 56 publications reporting LGDs interacting with or affecting wildlife. Featuring in 77% of the publications, LGDs were widely reported to chase and kill wildlife, leading to species43 specific behavioural responses. A total of 80 species were affected by LGDs; 11 of which are listed as Near Threatened or higher on the IUCN Red List. Of the affected species, 78% were non-target species, suggesting that any benefits arising from the use of LGDs likely occur simultaneously with unintended ecological effects. However, the frequency of LGD-wildlife interactions and the magnitude of any resulting ecological effects have rarely been quantified. More empirical studies are therefore needed to determine the net ecological outcome of LGD use, thus ensuring that negative outcomes are minimised while benefiting both farmers and wildlife.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Vertebrate Biology
Creators: Smith, B.R., Yarnell, R.W., Uzal, A. and Whitehouse-Tedd, K.
Publisher: Institute of Vertebrate Biology of the Czech Academy of Sciences
Date: 3 October 2020
ISSN: 2694-7684
Identifiers:
NumberType
1371921Other
Divisions: Schools > School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
Record created by: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 06 Oct 2020 08:48
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2020 09:41
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/41157

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