Conflict between farmers and large carnivores exists on Namibian rangelands and farmers continue to remove large carnivores indiscriminately. An appreciation for the economic and ecological roles of large carnivores cannot be expected to improve if the correct information is lacking and misconceptions persist. Conservancies are growing in importance in the conservation of Namibia's wildlife outside protected areas and may be important structures for information dissemination and improving wildlife management. This study investigated the role that farming enterprise (livestock and mixed livestock/game farming) and conservancy membership played in human–large carnivore conflict on commercial farms in Namibia. Our study found that the attitude towards large carnivores was similar between farming enterprises but that conservancy members within each enterprise were more likely to be tolerant of large carnivores and to use livestock management options to reduce conflict, than non-conservancy members. Cause for concern however, was the high proportion of all farmers, including those belonging to conservancies, which reported removing large carnivores from their farms. This aspect is reflected in the poor content of conservancy management plans with regard to large carnivore management and human–large carnivore conflict mitigation measures. The failure to incorporate guidelines pertaining to human–carnivore conflict management into conservancy management plans reflects the lack of a structured approach to solving this conflict on farmlands.
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Vol. 38 • No. 2