Predation management is a national priority for farming communities which report livestock losses and damage. Various roleplayers, including private entities, provincial and national government, are involved towards finding practical solutions to deal with the problem.
The conservation manager, Lizanne Nel attended the annual general meeting of Predation Management SA (PMSA) in Port Elizabeth/Gqeberha, where she engaged with provinces and other organisations on predation management.
- Our members that are farmers with either game or livestock, experience impacts from predators that erode their income. Although there is a policy framework to deal with damage-causing animals in most provinces, the government has limited capacity to deal with cases. The Western Cape seems to have a process in place to respond quickly, while Northern Cape is unable to do so, leaving farmers frustrated.
- It was agreed that SA Hunters and the Woolgrowers Association will draft a document to guide farmers and landowners on the best practices when responding to predation. The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment and other members of PMSA will investigate a self-administration process to deal with incidents when government lacks capacity. Lastly, the process of developing Norms and Standards/Guidelines for Human Wildlife Conflict under the GEF7 project, will be used to address some of the challenges.
- Predation management around protected areas, and in particular specific parks such as Karoo National Park managed by SANParks, is challenging because of lack or resources experienced by SANParks. This leaves farmers frustrated with very little scope for practical solutions. It was agreed that SANParks will use existing forums or establish new ones for their parks where they can engage with the host communities on predation management. SANParks’ compensation policy only applies to areas around Kruger National Park, but other areas are being considered.
- A proposal to involve more people in predation management in the different provinces, will receive attention.
- The annual report of Niël Viljoen, a predation expert, about farms where incidents of predation are monitored, was discussed.