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A method to estimate the livestock-related benefits of targeted predator management relative to sport hunting

Aaron Anderson, Stephanie A. Shwiff

Abstract


A method is developed to estimate the additional livestock-related benefits provided by targeted lethal removal of predators relative to those provided by sport hunting. The method is based on the possibility that individuals targeted by professional managers may be relatively more likely to kill livestock than the broader population. Specifically, it is shown that the expected additional benefit provided by the targeted removal of an animal is equal to the variance of the number of kills made by members of the predator population of interest divided by the average number of kills made by members of that population. This simple result makes the method easy to apply. The necessary data is straightforward to estimate by tracking a sample of individuals from the population, and no prior knowledge of the relationship between predator removal and livestock predation is needed. Application is demonstrated using data on lynx (Lynx lynx) predation on sheep in the French Jura Mountains, and it is found that the benefits of targeted removal are about 175% of those that would be provided by sport hunting.

Keywords


Hunting, lethal control, livestock, predation management, probability,

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