Interactions between domestic and wild carnivores around a conservation area

 

Meggan E Craft; Flavie Vial, PhD; Eve Miguel; Sarah Cleaveland; Andrew Ferdinands; Craig Packer. published in Animal conservation

 

The domestic and wild carnivore interface is complex, yet understudied; interactions between carnivore species have important implications for direct interference competition and apparent competition through cross-species transmission of shared pathogens. However, carnivore intraguild interactions are hard to quantify. In this study, we asked 512 villagers residing around a conservation area in the Serengeti Ecosystem, Tanzania to report on the presence of wild carnivores in their village, the number of domestic dogs and cats in their household, and interactions between domestic and wild carnivores. We find that wild carnivores are abundant near households surrounding the Serengeti National Park, villagers have many (and would like to have more) domestic dogs, and
direct and indirect contacts between wild and domestic carnivores are common. We demonstrate that interspecific carnivore behavior, human culture, and local and regional geography play a complex role in domestic and wild carnivore interaction risk around conservation areas. These interactions have implications for multihost disease dynamics as well as carnivore intraguild competition. We find that social surveys were a useful tool for obtaining data on a wide scope of carnivore interactions as well as
providing a direction for future targeted and in-depth research to reduce interspecific conflict

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