Niel Viljoen Predation Management Programme

Monitor farms to assess management tools in support of predation management training in South Africa. 

According to the 2018 report by Niël Viljoen and his assessment of monitor farms the past 11 years, the most important lesson learnt is that no single management strategy is fool-proof. The secret lies within a combination of management strategies and more importantly, the understanding that these strategies should be altered to prevent predators from adapting to one specific approach.

Another key factor is that each livestock producer must fully understand the biology and behaviour patterns of predators that are to be dealt with. The results of Viljoen’s evaluation show significant success and hope for farmers in managing livestock losses. During 2008 when the first monitor farms were established, losses of 2 311 were recorded and the most recent figures for 2018 were down to 828 animals. These results did come at a price as the number of predators that had to be eliminated increased from 242 in 2008 to 526 in 2018. As this surely does not mean that all predators need to be removed from nature, it is important to understand that if predation among livestock reaches a certain level, some unwanted predators will need to be eliminated. The black-backed jackal, mainly a scavenger, is responsible for 68% of losses (Fig. 22). The preferred prey base in this case is smaller types of lambs up to 30 kg. The caracal, a bigger predator that does not like to scavenge, will go for a bigger prey base, mostly heavier than 30 kg, like lambs that have already been weaned and fully grown ewes. Predation management aims to reduce livestock losses but comes at a cost.

Niel Viljoen Annual Report 2018 


April 2019

The April edition portrays a positive international perspective on Pred SA (Scientific Assessment) and a link provides interesting reading on why Jackals thrive where humans dominate.  Read here

Newsletter sponsored by Mertech Cable & Wire who market and sell steel cable and wire products. 

March 2019

The March newsletter focuses on Niel Viljoen's 2018 annual report, which echoes the scientific assessment that there is no single "silver bullet" for predation management.  Read here.  

Desember 2018

The December edition portrays a Christmas greeting, refers you to a link on the PMF website to view and consider best practices and management plans to address losses as well as a reply to Mpumalanga farmer seeking assistance with a massive problem with jackal attacking calves and even killing a calving cow.  Read here.  

Scientific Assessment : Livestock Predation and its management in South Africa

Historic first for predation management in South Africa!


A single document containing detailed and current insight and knowledge into the complex situation of predation management has been finalised and was launched at the Nelson Mandela University on 16 November 2018. 

In this historic first (nationally and globally), the Scientific Assessment for Livestock Predation and its Management in South Africa will form the basis for contemplating policy development. It will also strengthen Government’s resolve to develop evidence-based policy and to recognise that in many complex situations, such as where there is predation on livestock, there is no silver-bullet solution. The partnership of Government, industry, stakeholders and leading researchers emerged to resource and formulate the Scientific Assessment and shows a strong commitment to address the conflicts around livestock predation management. During this event, Prof. Graham Kerley of the Nelson Mandela University provided an overview of the assessment and felt confident that the document will contribute towards reducing conflict and sustaining both agricultural production and biodiversity. Sipiwo Makinana, who represented the wool industry, highlighted the plights of emerging livestock farmers on predation and acknowledged the outcome of the assessment that commercial and communal livestock farmers face similar predation challenges.

Guillau du Toit, chairman of the Predation Management Forum (PMF) welcomed the assessment. He referred to the chapter on policy and recommendations to Government as the most essential part of the study, as regulations and legislation, which impact the production practices of livestock and wildlife ranching producers, need an overhaul. He thanked Prof. Kerley and his team for the inclusivity of the process and the involvement of a magnitude of researchers, authors and reviewers. The implications of the findings for Government were welcomed by both the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) and the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA). Mr Joe Kgobokoe, representing DAFF, and Ms Mancotywa from DEA acknowledged the requirement of both a strategic national research programme to provide evidence for policy development, as well as closer cooperation between policy developers, livestock managers/farmers and researchers. This assesment is aimed at helping agricultural and conservation policymakers and managers to arrive at improved approaches for reducing livestock predation, while at the same time contributing to the conservation of our natural predators. The PMF would like to thank all the role players who helped to make the publication possible.


Click here for Scientific Assessment publication


November 2018

The November newsletter announces the launch of the Scientific Assessment for Livestock Predation, a historic first for predation management in South Africa ; NWGA Free State Executive member Anton Marx shares why electric fencing has proven successful under his unique farming conditions and circumstances and the Predation Management Information Centre (PMiC) encourages farmers to record predation losses on a newly developed cellphone APP.  

To read full newsletter, cli ck here

October 2018

The October newsletter shares the successful practice of alpacas as effective herd animals to protect farmer Pieter Albertyn of Struisbaai against predators ; Scientific Assessment of Livestock predation and it's management in South Africa to be released soon ; read article by Prof. HO De Waal on the Demography and morphometry of black-backed jackals in SA and Namibia.  

Newsletter sponsored by Night Eye - the eco-friendly protector. 

Read here. 

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