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Research article2018Peer reviewed

Livestock depredation by large carnivores in the South Gobi, Mongolia

Mijiddorj, Tserennadmid Nadia; Alexander, Justine Shanti; Samelius, Gustaf


Context Livestock depredation is a major conservation challenge around the world, causing considerable economical losses to pastoral communities and often result in retaliatory killing. In Mongolia, livestock depredation rates are thought to be increasing due to changes in pastoral practices and the transformation of wild habitats into pasture lands. Few studies have examined the interactions between humans and carnivores and even fewer have considered how recent changes in pastoral practices may affect depredation rates.Aim This study aimed to assess the influence of herding practices on self-reported livestock losses to snow leopards and wolves in two communities in South Gobi, Mongolia.Methods In total, 144 herder households were interviewed and an information-theoretic approach was used to analyse the factors influencing self-reported livestock losses to snow leopards and wolves.Key results The majority of self-reported losses to both snow leopards and wolves occurred when herds were left unattended in the pastures. The economic loss associated with livestock losses to snow leopards and wolves amounted to an average loss of US$825 per herder and year. The number of livestock owned by a household and the frequency of shifting campsite had the strongest influence on livestock losses to snow leopards and wolves. Other determinants of livestock losses included frequency of visiting the soum (county) centre.Implications On the basis of the findings, we make recommendations for mitigating the conflict with large carnivores, with focus on guiding future herding practices.


co-existence; livestock; pastoralism

Published in

Wildlife Research
2018, Volume: 45, number: 3, pages: 237-246

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Animal and Dairy Science

    Publication identifier


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