Advertisement

Barriers, the Beef Industry and Unnatural Selection: A Review of the Impact of Veterinary Fencing on Mammals in Southern Africa

  • Michelle E. Gadd
Chapter

Abstract

Thousands of kilometres of veterinary fences crisscross southern Africa, dividing habitat and blocking the movement of terrestrial animals, and hundreds of kilometres of new fences are proposed or under construction. Although the primary targets of these fences are livestock and wild ungulates carrying diseases that could threaten livestock, the fences are not selective and create substantial physical barriers for many wildlife species. The ecological cost of these fences is often overlooked, but the evidence from 34 published and unpublished reports amounts to significant ongoing damage ranging from loss of life to the disappearance of entire migrations. Fences have adverse effects on wild mammals at the individual, population and species levels, and alter community structure and ecosystem productivity. They disrupt individual daily movements and may lead to death by starvation, dehydration or entanglement. Fencing can divide populations, prevent recolonisation and render sub-populations prone to the risks faced by small populations. Large-bodied, migratory ungulates and elephants Loxodonta africana have been the most severely affected. Fences can worsen negative interactions between people and wildlife: examples show that fences facilitate poaching and that fencing which disrupts the movement of large mammals, especially elephants, can increase conflict with local people. In light of current challenges (especially climate change) and opportunities (e.g. restoring degraded areas or reconnecting conservation areas), fences should be considered carefully for their role in impeding or altering events essential to species persistence, like dispersal, seasonal movement and range expansion.

Keywords

Environmental Impact Assessment Okavango Delta Wildlife Area Cattle Owner Crop Raiding 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgements

Many thanks to the people who have shared their knowledge, photos and data over the years,especially Arthur Albertson, Karen Ross, Mary Rice, Steve Osofsky and the AHEAD Greater Limpopo Working Group, and to Rowan Martin for permission to use Figure 9.1.

References

  1. Albertson, A. (1997) Botswana: death by cattle. The Ntsu Foundation, Gabarone.Google Scholar
  2. Albertson, A. (1998) Northern Botswana Veterinary Fences: Critical Ecological Impacts. The Wild Foundation/Kalahari Conservation Society, Gabarone.Google Scholar
  3. Albertson, A. (2005) Removal of decommissioned veterinary fences in Ngamiland District, Botswana. Kalahari Conservation Society, The Sierra Club and The Wild Foundation, Gabarone.Google Scholar
  4. Albertson, A. (2008) Botswana’s Ministry of Agriculture’s Proposal to re-erect the Setata fence: points for urgent consideration. Cleft Stick 2.Google Scholar
  5. Bengis, R.G., Kock, R.A. & Fischer, J. (2002) Infectious animal diseases: the wildlife/livestock interface. Revue Scientifique et Technique de l Office International des Epizooties, 21, 53–65.Google Scholar
  6. Berry, H. (1983) The blue wildebeest problem at Etosha National Park. African Wildlife, 39, 192–197.Google Scholar
  7. Berry, H.H. & Siegfried, W.R. (1979) Stop-watch Wildebeest. African Wildlife. 33(1), 17–21.Google Scholar
  8. Blake, S., Deem, S.L., Strindberg, S., Maisels, F., Momont, L., Isia, I.-B., Douglas-Hamilton, I., Karesh, W.B. & Kock, M.D. (2008) Roadless wilderness area determines forest elephant movements in the Congo Basin. PLoS ONE, 3, 1–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Boone, R.B. & Hobbs, N.T. (2004) Lines around fragments: effects of fencing on large herbivores. African Journal of Range & Forage Science, 21, 147–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Booth, V., Hoare, R.E., & Mackie, C. (1998) Use of electric fences in communal areas of Zimbabwe. Southern Africa regional workshop on fences. In: K. Ross (ed.) Conservation International, Maun, Botswana. pp. 14–32.Google Scholar
  11. Brashares, J.S. (2003) Ecological, behavioral, and life-history correlates of mammal extinctions in West Africa. Conservation Biology, 17, 733–743.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Brook, B.W., Sodhi, N.S. & Bradshaw, C.J.A. (2008) Synergies among extinction drivers under global change. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 23, 453–460.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Caughley, G. (1976) The elephant problem - an alternative hypothesis. East African Wildlife Journal, 14, 265–283.Google Scholar
  14. Caughley, G. (1994) Directions in Conservation Biology. The Journal of Animal Ecology, 63, 215–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Child, G. (1972) Observations on a wildebeest die-off in Botswana. Arnoldia, 5, 1–13.Google Scholar
  16. Clevenger, A.P. & Waltho, N. (2000) Factors Influencing the Effectiveness of Wildlife Underpasses in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. Conservation Biology, 14, 47–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Conway, A.J. 1984. Anti-poaching measures in Chirisa Safari Area, Zimbabwe. in D.H.M Cumming and P. Jackson (eds.). The Status and Conservation of Africa’s Elephants and Rhinos. International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, Gland, Switzerland. pp. 164–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Craig, B. (2007) Wildlife Surveillance and Elephant Monitoring in Ol Pejeta Conservancy. Final report to U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.Google Scholar
  19. Cumming, D.H.M., Fenton, M.B., Rautenback, I.L., Taylor, R.D., Cumming, G.S., Cumming, M.S., Dunlop, J.M., Ford, A.G., Hovorka, M.D., Johnson, D.S., Kalcounis, M., Mahlangu, Z. & Portfors, C.V.R. (1997) Elephants, woodlands and biodiversity in southern Africa. South African Journal of Science, 93, 231–236.Google Scholar
  20. de Queiroz, J.S. (1993) Range degradation in Botswana: myth or reality? Pastoral Development Network Paper, 35b, 1–17. Overseas Development Institute, London.Google Scholar
  21. du Toit, R. (2005) Foot and Mouth Disease management and land-use implications in the Zimbabwean Lowveld: the rationale for creating a Biosphere Reserve. Conservation and development interventions at the wildlife/livestock interface: implications for wildlife, livestock and human health (ed S. Osofsky), pp. 109–111. IUCN, Gland.Google Scholar
  22. Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) (2004) A line in the sand: the unsustainable expansion of Botswana’s beef industry at the expense of local communities and the Okavango Delta. EIA, London.Google Scholar
  23. Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) (2005) Dead end: a briefing document on the construction of a game-proof fence around the Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana. EIA, London.Google Scholar
  24. Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) (2007) Background and implications of the decision to re-erect the Setata fence in Ngamiland. EIA, London.Google Scholar
  25. FAO (2005) Foot-and-mouth disease status in southern Africa. EMPRES Transboundary animal disease bulletin, 28, 2–6.Google Scholar
  26. Forman, R.T.T., Sperling, D., Bissonette, J.A., Clevenger, A.P., Cutshall, C., Dale, V.H., Fahrig, L., France, R., Goldman, C.R., Heanue, K., Jones, J.A., Swanson, F.J., Turrentine, T. & Winter, T.C. (2003) Road Ecology Island Press, Washington DC.Google Scholar
  27. Gadd, M.E. (2001) Final report to Botswana Department of Wildlife and National Parks: 2000–2001 Eastern Botswana Elephant Project. Unpublished report.Google Scholar
  28. Gadd, M.E. (2003) Elephant ecology and conservation in African rangelands. Ph.D. Thesis. University of California, Davis.Google Scholar
  29. Gadd, M.E. (2007) Preliminary comments on the potential effects of a new veterinary cordon fence across Northern Namibia/Southern Angola. US Department of the Interior, Interior Technical Assistance Program (ITAP) for the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).Google Scholar
  30. Goodwin, J. (1985) Control of African Wildlife. Paper presented at 2nd Gallagher Wildlife Seminar. Dubbo, Australia. Gallagher Electronics Ltd. P/Bag, Hamilton, New Zealand. 24 pp.Google Scholar
  31. Gupta C. (2004). A study of the decision to construct the Makgadikgadi Wildlife Fence and its subsequent impacts on the Makgadikgadi Pans region. (Research Report). Dartmouth College, Hanover.Google Scholar
  32. Hanski, I. (1998) Metapopulation dynamics. Nature, 396, 41–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hargreaves, S.C.F., Anderson, E.C., Bastos, A.D.S., Thomson, G.R., Ferris, N.P. & Knowles, N.J. (2004) An investigation into the source and spread of foot and mouth disease virus from a wildlife conservancy in Zimbabwe. Scientific and Technical Review of the Office International des Epizooties., 23, 783–790.Google Scholar
  34. Hoare, R.E. (1992) Present and future use of fencing in the management of larger African mammals. Environmental conservation, 19, 160–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hurlbert, S.H. (1984) Pseudoreplication and the design of ecological field experiments. Ecological Monographs, 54, 187–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kalikawe, M.C. (1997) Wildlife friendly fencing for Botswana: a presentation of recommended procedures, specifications and important considerations. Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Gabarone. Google Scholar
  37. Kavadimba, S. (1998) Community case studies: impact of fences on wildlife resource use. Southern Africa regional workshop on fences (ed K. Ross), pp. 38–39. Conservation International, Maun.Google Scholar
  38. Knight, M.H. (1995) Drought-related mortality of wildlife in the southern Kalahari and the role of man. African Journal of Ecology, 33, 377–394.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kock, R. (2005) What is this infamous “wildlife/livestock disease interface?” A review of current knowledge for the African continent. Conservation and development interventions at the wildlife/livestock interface: implications for wildlife, livestock and human health (ed S.A. Osofsky), pp. 1–13. IUCN, Gland.Google Scholar
  40. Kock, R., Kebkiba, B., Heinonen, R. & Bedane, B. (2002) Wildlife and Pastoral Society; Shifting Paradigms in Disease Control. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 969, 24–33.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. MacArthur, R.H. & Wilson, E.O. (1967) The Theory of Island Biogeography. Princeton University Press, Princeton.Google Scholar
  42. Mapitse, N. (2008) Botswana’s foot-and-mouth disease and beef trade policy. Institute of Development Studies, Brighton.Google Scholar
  43. Martin, R.B. (2005) The influence of veterinary control fences on certain wild large mammal species in the Caprivi, Namibia. Conservation and development interventions at the wildlife/livestock interface: implications for wildlife, livestock and human health (ed S. Osofsky), pp. 27–39. IUCN, Gland.Google Scholar
  44. McGarigal, K. & Cushman, S.A. (2002) Comparative evaluation of experimental approaches to the study of habitat fragmentation effects. Ecological Applications, 12, 335–345.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Nair, M.K.S. (2007) Governance and upgrading opportunities in beef industry in Botswana: a value chain approach. The Second International Conference on Management of Globally Distributed Work, Session 7: Capacity Management and Economics, pp. 431–440.Google Scholar
  46. Newmark, W.D. (1996) Insularization of Tanzanian parks and the local extinction of large mammals. Conservation Biology, 10, 1549–1556.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Ogada, D., Gadd, M.E., Ostfeld, R., Young, T.P. & Keesing, F. (2008) Impacts of large herbivorous mammals on bird diversity and abundance in an African savanna. Oecologia, 156, 387–397.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Osofsky, S.A., Cumming, D.H.M. & Kock, M.D. (2008) Transboundary management of natural resources and the importance of a ‘One Health’ approach: perspectives on Southern Africa. State of the Wild 2008-2009: A Global Portrait of Wildlife, Wildlands, and Oceans (ed E. Fearn), pp. 89–98. Island Press, Washington, D. C.Google Scholar
  49. Owen, M. & Owen, D. (1980) The fences of death. African Wildlife, 34, 25–27.Google Scholar
  50. Parry, D. (1987) Wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus) mortalities at Lake Xau, Botswana. Botswana Notes and Records, 19, 95–101.Google Scholar
  51. Perkins, J.S. (1996) Botswana: fencing out the equity issue. Cattleposts and cattle ranching in the Kalahari Desert. Journal of Arid Environments, 33, 503–517.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Pierson, O. & Gadd, M.E. (2008) To fence or not to fence: use of wildlife data to influence U.S. Government foreign assistance decision-making in Northern Namibia. XXI Meeting of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB), Chattanooga.Google Scholar
  53. Roche, C. (2008) ‘The fertile brain and inventive power of man’: anthropogenic factors in the ­cessation of springbok treks and the disruption of the Karoo ecosystem, 1865–1908. Africa, 78, 157–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Ross, K. (2003) Okavango: Jewel of the Kalahari. Struik Publishers, Cape Town.Google Scholar
  55. Schumann, M., Schumann, B., Dickman, A., Watson, L.H. & Marker, L. (2006) Assessing the use of swing gates in game fences as a potential non-lethal predator exclusion technique. South African Journal of Wildlife Research, 36, 173–181.Google Scholar
  56. Scoones, I. & Wolmer, W. (2008) Foot-and-mouth disease and market access: challenges for the beef industry in southern Africa. Institute of Development Studies, Brighton.Google Scholar
  57. Spinage, C.A. (1992) The decline of the Kalahari wildebeest. Oryx, 26, 147–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Spinage, C.A. & Matlhare, J.M. (1992) Is the Kalahari cornucopia fact or fiction? A predictive model. Journal of applied Ecology, 29, 605–610.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Sutmoller, P. (2002) The fencing issue relative to the control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 969, 191–200.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Scott Wilson Resource Consultants (2000) Environmental assessment of veterinary fences in Ngamiland – summary report. Consultants’ report to the Department of Animal Health and Production of Botswana. Scott Wilson Resource Consultants in association with The Environment and Development Group, Basingstoke.Google Scholar
  61. Taylor, R.D. & Martin, R.B. (1987) Effects of veterinary fences on wildlife conservation in Zimbabwe. Environmental Management, 11, 327–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Thomson, G. (2008) A short overview of regional positions on foot-and-mouth disease control in southern Africa. Institute of Development Studies, Brighton.Google Scholar
  63. van Dyk, G. & Slotow, R. (2003) The effects of fences and lions on the ecology of African wild dogs reintroduced to Pilanesberg National Park, South Africa. African Zoology, 38, 79–94.Google Scholar
  64. Weaver, L.C. (1997) Background and potential impacts resulting from construction of a game and livestock proof fence by the Government of Botswana south of the West Caprivi Game Reserve. WWF/LIFE Programme.Google Scholar
  65. Williamson, D. (2002) Dimensions and dilemmas of conservation in the Kalahari. Open Country, 4, 15–24.Google Scholar
  66. Williamson, D. & Mbano (1988) Wildebeest mortality during 1983 at Lake Xau, Botswana. African Journal of Ecology, 26, 341–344.Google Scholar
  67. Williamson, D. & Williamson, J. (1981) An assessment of the impact of fences on large herbivore biomass in the Kalahari. Botswana Notes and Records, 13, 107–110.Google Scholar
  68. Young, T.P., Palmer, T.M. & Gadd, M.E. (2005) Competition and compensation among cattle, zebras, and elephants in a semi-arid savannah in Laikipia, Kenya. Biological Conservation, 122, 351–359.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of International ConservationU.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceArlingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations