Farm management and economic analyses of leopard conservation in north-central Namibia


Todd K. Fuller, Department of Natural Resources Conservation, 160 Holdsworth Way, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, USA. Tel: +1 413 545 4723; Fax: +1 413 545 4358


We investigated the livestock farms surrounding the Waterberg Plateau Park in north-central Namibia to assess farmer attitudes, management techniques, financial impacts, as well as the potential benefits of tourism and trophy hunting, with respect to leopard Panthera pardus conservation. Farmers were asked about their use of six livestock husbandry techniques and farmers who employed at least one had 85% less reported conflict than farmers not employing any. Livestock farmers lost on average 3.8% of their calves to depredation annually (US$1370 per farm per year) but were willing to lose 3.3%, a difference of only US$180 per farm or US$3064 regionally. Where losses were higher than stated tolerance, we found that potential benefits from tourism and trophy hunting could offset losses. Surveys with tourists and professional hunters in the region strengthened this conclusion.