The Karoo Predator Project is happy to announce that Wiley has published our research on the dietary niche relationships among predators on farmland and a protected area in the Journal of Wildlife Management. The paper was followed by an article written by David Frey for the Wildlife Society.
Our research shows that black-backed jackals (Canis mesomelas) and caracals (Caracal caracal) can adapt their diet to the land use in which they live. On rangelands, the diet of jackals consists of 42% of small-livestock whereas it consists of 25% of small-livestock for caracals. Interestingly, in a nearby protected area, jackals mostly eat fruit, and caracals micromammals.
Another important finding is that black-backed jackals consume more small-livestock than expected compared to their availability in the landscape on rangelands. We termed this fact “preference”. It is therefore extremely important for small-livestock farmers to protect their sheep on rangelands because of jackals “preference” for livestock over similar-sized wild prey species. However, we would argue that farmers can not bear the full cost of livestock protection and losses alone in South Africa and that assistance from the State and NGOs – like in other countries in the world – is necessary and would improve wildlife and livestock welfare.
You can also access one of the article press releases by following this link: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-12/w-sec121817.php
Best wishes for the festive season and happy holiday!