Eco Preservation : Sheperd Dogs helps for Cheetah Conservation


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Winding through the parched Namibian farmland, Bonzo, an Anatolian shepherd dog, has a singular focus: protecting his herd of goats from lurking predators.

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He pads along, sniffing the air and marking the scrubby landscape, just like a bodyguard ready to ward off any threat to his charges, which he considers family.

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“They’re not pets. They’re not allowed to be pets,” said Bonzo’s owner farmer Retha Joubert.

The breed descends from ancient livestock dogs used thousands of years ago in what is now central Turkey. And they not only save sheep and goats, but have handed a lifeline to Namibia’s decimated cheetah numbers by reducing conflicts between farmers and predators.

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“The dogs are protecting the flock in such a way that the farmers don’t have to kill predators,” said Laurie Marker of the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) which breeds the dogs near the northern city Otjiwarongo.

“It’s a non-lethal predator control method so it is green, it’s happy, it’s win-win.”

The concept is simple : The dogs are placed with a flock when a few weeks old to bond with the livestock. They live permanently with the animals, loyally heading out with them every day to deter hunters, and bedding down with them at night.

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Marker’s centre started breeding the livestock dogs to promote cheetah-friendly farming after some 10,000 big cats — the current total worldwide population — were killed or moved off farms in the 1980s. 

Up to 1,000 cheetahs were being killed a year, mostly by farmers who saw them as livestock killers.

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But the use of dogs has slashed losses for sheep and goat farmers and led to less retaliation against the vulnerable cheetah.

“We see about 80 to 100 percent decrease of livestock loss from any predator when the farmers have the dogs,” said Marker.

In the last 19 years, around 450 dogs have been placed with farmers and more than 3,000 farmers trained.

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Courtesy, Source and for Full article : Click here AFP

12 thoughts on “Eco Preservation : Sheperd Dogs helps for Cheetah Conservation

  1. The ranchers in America need to get with the program to protect the wolves, and stop living back in the stone age, because if it works to protect against Cheetahs, it would certainly protect against Wolves !!!

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    1. You are correct, Nancy. We humans are the intruders to their home territories! And we are so bad to accuse them and kill them. Every animal deserves its rights to live on earth. Hope someone who can act can notice this kind of conservation programs. Thanks for the reblogs Nancy 🙂

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      1. Thank you for the wonderful article! I hope so too its so sad. I certainly get a lot of emails from these wild life groups, but yet to seeing anything change, even when you give them money the next day they’re begging for money. I wish they would stop coming after me for money and put this program into action !

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        1. 🙂 The problem with people is they try to change the damage at result end. What happens is they keep resolving and it keeps happening at the other end; unless we rectify the problems at the root cause level.

          Education is the tool I strongly believe to bring a change, Educating the younger generation to care for the society and the environment could be a long term solution. That’s what I am trying to do here in India via Propelsteps to make the students realize the connections of their own life with the society as a whole and the environment. So when they become adults they naturally care of everything at least for a few good causes. Young minds can be easily shaped than already-set aged minds.

          Let us do our best, hope results will be positive.

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        2. I agree with you 100 percent. I do hope and pray, the future generation and education of the problems going on now, will make the world a better place in the future. 🙂

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