The perceptions of communal cattle farmers living at the wildlife‐livestock interface

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Major perceived constraints

Respondents in the ZR were asked to state what they considered to be the most important constraints to cattle farming experienced in their area. All responses were categorised and summarised according to the frequency of responses per category as well as the sequence (order) in which particular categories were mentioned by respondents (Figure 3‐5). This was done in an effort to provide some insight into the level of importance each challenge was accorded, because this was not a quantitative survey.
Disease as a major challenge experienced by cattle farmers in the ZR was mentioned by the most respondents (75%) and when mentioned it featured first 55% of the time and second 30% of the time.
Predation was reported second most often (41%) by farmers in the ZR followed by grazing shortages/competition (30%), wildlife contact (23%), flooding (18%), miscellaneous reasons (14%), and lastly market‐related problems (2%). When mentioned, grazing and flooding were mostly mentioned first as well (69% and 63% respectively) whilst predation and wildlife mostly featured second when listed (39% and 60% respectively). Ticks (29%), FMD (15%) and lumpy skin disease (LSD) (12%) were the animal health problems mentioned most often by farmers in the ZR when they elaborated on the health challenges they experienced.
However, the farmers from the floodplains around Kasika and Kabulabula did not mention ticks at all – except in the context of when they had to move their cattle to upland areas before annual floods.
Personal observations at the time of the survey confirmed that cattle on the flood plains had much lower tick burdens and generally seemed to be in much better condition than cattle from the woodland areas in Sangwali and Lizauli.
For the farmers from Kasika, flooding was the problem; an issue which was not mentioned by farmers from the other areas. An important reason that floods were considered a major constraint to farming in Kasika was that the woody, upland areas where they relocated to during floods had many ticks and poor grazing – both unfamiliar characteristics in their usual floodplain environment. Various respondents mentioned significant cattle losses during the periods that they had to move to upland areas and even pointed to this as the reason that some had ceased cattle farming all together. FMD, wildlife and internal parasites (liver fluke) were mostly mentioned when the Kasika farmers spoke about diseases in their areas. Conversely, in the woodland areas ticks were considered a major limitation to cattle farming. Diseases associated with ticks were a major concern in other woodland areas as well (Sangwali and Lizauli) as well as wounds, abscesses and the cost of dipping. LSD was the disease mentioned most often as a disease transmitted by ticks. Black quarter disease, gout, anthrax, lung sickness, nagana transmitted by tsetse flies and stomach disorders were among the other diseases mentioned by respondents.

Cattle mortality rates

Thirty five (80%) of the 44 respondents in the ZR reported cattle losses due to either mortality or animals that physically went missing during 2011. The eight respondents who did not have cattle mortalities during 2011 remarked that they had, however, the previous year, mostly from predation.
According to the respondents in the ZR, a total of 156 animals were lost by farmers over the course of 2011 (n=35). This equates to an average exit rate due to mortality or related losses of 4.6 animals per owner for the year and an 80% probability that a respondent will lose at least one animal in the year.
The overall mortality rate was 6% of the total owned cattle population in the ZR. The probability of losing a cow was the highest (41%) with eighteen respondents losing, on average, two cows per owner (Table 3‐5). Ten owners lost on average two oxen per person, and six respondents lost on average five calves per person, which meant calf mortality had the highest impact within herds where this did occur. A total number of 22 animals lost by farmers could not be classified accurately by the owners.
The respondents in the ZR who reported mortalities were given the opportunity to explain what the reasons for their animal losses were. Of the 156 cattle mortalities reported for the year, 140 incidents were linked to specific causes as perceived by the respondents (Table 3‐6) and a further 16 could not be accounted for. The most important reasons given were diseases (56.8%), and predation (35%).
Disease as a perceived cause of death was significantly higher than any other (P=0.004). Cattle exits due to animals that went missing and mortalities due to unknown reasons were mentioned by 13% and 9% of the respondents respectively. Hyena (20%), crocodile (11%) and lion (4%) were mentioned in terms of predation‐related exits. Twenty six cattle went missing among six owners (4.3 per owner) which was higher than the 4.1 deaths per owner due to disease. Still, disease related exits affected 20 of the 44 surveyed respondents and disease was linked to the deaths of 83 cattle in total.


1 Introduction
-Literature Review
-Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs)
-Conceptualising complexity at the wildlife‐livestock interface
-The Zambezi Region of Namibia
-Commodity‐based trade: a possible alternative approach
-Livestock production and beef quality
-Prerequisite programmes and HACCP
-Good Agricultural Practices
-Market access, poverty alleviation and rural development
-Value chain development approaches
-Concluding remarks
-Study objectives
-Structure of thesis
2 Study Areas And Methodology
-Study Areas
-Zambezi Region, Namibia
-Bushbuckridge Local Municipality, South Africa
-Methodological Approach
-Data collection: Mnisi Study Area, South Africa
-Data Collection: Zambezi Region of Namibia
-Spatial Analyses
-Summary of materials and methods per chapter
-Statistical Procedures
-Research Approval
3 Perceptions at the Interface: Beef Production
-Study areas
-Data collection and analysis
-Herd size and composition
-The role of cattle at household level
-Cattle production and health: risks and challenges
-Cattle mortality rates
-Animal quality and improvement
-Extension and skill development
-Trade and marketing
-Herd size effect
4 The perceptions of communal cattle farmers living at the wildlife‐livestock interface in the Zambezi
-Region of Namibia towards wildlife contact and conservation
-Results and discussion
-Perceptions regarding buffalo‐cattle contact and risk
-Wildlife‐livestock integration and community conservancies
-Mnisi Study Area
-Perceptions regarding buffalo‐cattle contact and risk
-Farmers and conservation
5 The spatial distribution of grazers and grazing in the Zambezi Region and its impact on animal production
-Study area
-Data analysis
-Perceptions and preferences: carcass quality
-Carcass yield and quality
-Cattle population dynamics
-Vegetation types of the ZR
-Cattle density and distribution
-Biomass production and distribution
-Grazing capacity and stocking rate
-Competition with wildlife
6 An analyses of the formal beef trade in the Zambezi Region and its accessibility as influenced by spatio‐temporal parameters at the wildlife‐livestock interface
-Study area
-Materials and methods
-Perceptions of trade barriers
-Spatio‐temporal trends in formal sale and off‐take rates
-Perceptions: constraints to market access and the quarantine system
-Variation in abattoir throughput
-The effect of distance and season on formal trade
-The effect of vegetation type on formal trade
-Trade dynamics in terms of conservation and FMD outbreaks
-Spatio‐temporal predictors of off‐take
7 Herding for Health: An integrated model to community‐driven value chain development for beef trade at the wildlife‐livestock interface
-FMD outbreak: Zambezi Region 2012
-Socio‐economic impact of FMD outbreak and compliance to producer protocols
-Results and discussion
-FMD impact
-A village‐level prerequisite program


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