Copyright Arnaud De Grave / Agence Le Pictorium - stray dog;madagascar conservation & development

Barking up the right tree: Understanding local attitudes towards dogs in villages surrounding Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar can benefit applied conservation

Kim Valenta, Joseph A. Gettinger-Larson, Colin A. Chapman, Zach J. Farris

Abstract


Exotic carnivores, particularly feral and domestic dogs, represent a serious threat to Madagascar’s endemic fauna. We obtained information from the local community about dogs in villages in and around Ranomafana National Park (RNP), Madagascar. Surveys were conducted (N=359) to assess local opinions of dogs, reasons for owning dogs, and the willingness of dog owners to participate in spay/neuter/vaccine programs. Of surveyed individuals without dogs (N=211), 58.9% of respondents reported negative feelings towards free-roaming dogs, with only 1% of respondents identifying free-roaming dogs as a positive aspect of village life. Of individuals with dogs (N=148), 8.1% of respondents reported using their dog for hunting, and 41.2% reported that their dog had killed at least one wild animal, with 11.8% reporting that this occurred on a weekly basis. Villagers approve of spay/neuter/vaccine programs and 90.3% of respondents with dogs state they would use them if freely available. The interest in veterinary services combined with a generally negative attitude towards free-roaming dogs indicates that a spay/neuter/vaccine program would be an effective means of controlling dog populations.

 

Résumé

Les carnivores exotiques, particulièrement les chiens domestiques et ceux retournés à l’état sauvage, représentent une menace sérieuse pour la faune endémique de Madagascar. Nous avons récolté des informations auprès des communautés riveraines sur les chiens vivant dans les villages et autour du Parc National de Ranomafana (RNP) au sud-est de Madagascar. Nous avons mené des enquêtes (N=359) afin d’évaluer les avis de la communauté locale sur les chiens, les raisons pour lesquelles les gens possèdent ces animaux et la volonté des propriétaires pour s’engager dans un programme de stérilisation/vaccination canine. Les villageois qui ne possédaient pas de chiens (N=211) représentaient 58,9 % des personnes interrogées ; ils ont rapporté avoir des sentiments négatifs envers les chiens errants et seulement 1 % des personnes interrogées ont vu un aspect positif pour la vie du village dans les chiens errants. Parmi les propriétaires de chiens (N=148), 8,1 % des personnes interrogées ont rapporté utiliser leur chien pour la chasse et 41,2% des personnes interrogées indiquent que leur chien a déjà tué au moins un animal sauvage, dont 11,8 % rapportant que cela arrivait toutes les semaines. Les villageois approuvent le programme de stérilisation/vaccination canine et 90,3 % des propriétaires de chiens y auraient volontiers recours si celui-ci était gratuit et librement disponible.

 


Keywords


Conservation canis familiaris hunting spay neuter feral dog

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Madag. conserv. dev.
ISSN: 1662-2510