The degradation and fragmentation of the northern Ethiopian highlands has resulted in frequent encounters of large carnivores with humans and their livestock. We interviewed 500 randomly selected households to estimate economic impact of livestock predation by spotted hyaena (Crocuta crocuta), leopard (Panthera pardus) and jackal (Canis aureus aureus) in the highlands of northern Ethiopia. The annual mean economic loss per household was approximately U.S.$ 20.2, about 7% of the average annual income of households in the area. Households surveyed reported losses of a total of 3122 livestock to hyaena, leopard and jackal predation over the past 5 years. This loss equated to a total financial loss of U.S.$ 50,381. Livestock predation incidents of spotted hyaena, leopard and jackal demonstrated that spotted hyaena had a preference for dog, donkey, goat and sheep; leopard for goat, dog and sheep; and jackal for goat and sheep. Livestock predation of spotted hyaena and leopard were mainly during the night. We conclude that assessing depredation problems is important to develop actions for management of either livestock practices or wildlife conservation.
African Journal of Ecology, 2013, Vol 51, Issue 1, p. 78-86