Livestock guardian dogs (LGDs) in the Romanian Carpathians are as old as the pastoral presence and activity in the region. The main role of these dogs is to protect livestock from predation by large carnivores. The Carpathian Mountains, as opposed to other European mountain ranges, have always had considerable populations of wolf, brown bear, and lynx; conflict with the herders is inevitable. Here, the shepherds rely only on themselves and their dogs to keep their animals safe from predation during pastoral movements. We investigated 12 sites from the historical regions of Banat and Transylvania, where we have collected traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) on the use of native LGDs as an ancient non-lethal method for the prevention of livestock depredation. By monitoring the behavior of their dogs, the shepherds establish a complex ethno-ethological relationship with them, which helps them foretell the movements and presence of large carnivores in their vicinity. We have also investigated the recent positive change of attitude of some of the Romanian nature conservationists towards the Romanian Carpathian Shepherd Dog breed, which is also currently promoted by important international nature conservation NGOs as an ecologically friendly method to mitigate the conflict with large carnivores. The uninterrupted use of endemic LGD breeds by pastoralists in Romania might be one of the main reasons for the survival and conservation of large carnivores here in the past and in the future.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 40 • No. 4