TitleEvery dog has its prey: Range-wide assessment of links between diet patterns, livestock depredation and human interactions for an endangered carnivore.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsSrivathsa A, Sharma S, Oli MK
JournalSci Total Environ
Date Published2020 Apr 20
KeywordsAnimals, Biomass, Carnivora, Diet, Dogs, Humans, Livestock, Predatory Behavior

Livestock depredation is the most ubiquitous type of negative interaction between humans and carnivores. We conducted a range-wide assessment linking diet patterns of the endangered dhole Cuon alpinus, with livestock consumption and human-dhole interactions. We first performed a reanalysis of dhole diet data from all published studies (1973-2013) incorporating a recently-developed non-linear correction factor for quantifying prey biomass consumed. We then determined the relative livestock numbers consumed by dholes over time across its range, compared these with earlier estimates, and investigated the relative importance of wild vs. non-wild prey in dhole diet. Using information from >70 studies, we explored links between livestock consumption by dholes, availability of wild versus non-wild prey, sympatric depredation-prone carnivores, and people's perception of dholes as livestock predators. We found that (a) dhole diet profiles varied regionally, (b) dholes consumed fewer livestock compared to estimates generated using other, widely used methods, (c) livestock consumption by dholes was associated with wild and non-wild prey densities, and number of co-predator species, and (d) people's negative perception of dholes was associated with pack sizes, levels of livestock depredation and number of sympatric carnivore species. Global efforts for dhole conservation should involve different strategies based on region-specific realities that account for ecological context as well as human perceptions, which would require well-designed studies of dhole social and population dynamics, and human-dhole interactions. We also call for more such range-wide assessments of livestock depredation by wild canids, complemented with direct investigations of human-canid interactions.

Alternate JournalSci. Total Environ.
PubMed ID31986391