Demise of the dingo

van Bommel L. & Johnson C. N. (2012) Good dog! Using livestock guardian dogs to protect livestock from predators in Australia’s extensive grazing systems. Wildlife Research 39, 220-9.

Aim: 
Aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of livestock guardian dogs and determine the factors influencing effectiveness, in particular in relation to scale of management. Also documented how livestock guardian dogs are managed in Australia, evaluated their cost effectiveness, and identified factors that influence the number of dogs required in different property situations.
Type of Study: 
survey
Key Results: 
65.7% of respondents reported that predation ceased after obtaining dogs and a further 30.2% reported a decrease of predation. Whenthe number of stock per dog exceeds 100,LGDsmight not be able to eliminate all predation. The cost of obtaining a dog isreturned within 1–3 years after the dog starts working.
Treatments: 
The independent variables were: (1) size of thearea used by livestock; (2) size of the area used by livestockdivided by number of dogs in the same area; (3) total number of stock guarded by guardian dogs on the property; (4) number of stock per guardian dogs (5) total number of guardian dogs on a property; (6) main type of predator in the area (wild dog or fox/other); (7) management type of dogs (whether free range or restricted); (8) vegetation onthe property (open or dense); and (9) whether the property was mainly flat or hilly.
Response: 
Guardian dogs can provide a cost-effective alternative to conventional predator control methods in Australia’s extensive grazing enterprises, potentially reducing or eliminating the need for other forms of control. Guardian dogs could play a major role in securing the viability of livestock businesses and reconciling people–predator conflict in Australia.
Models: 
Model selection
Reviewer: 
Aaron Greenville
Locations: 
Australia. Case study Qld.
Response variable : 
percentage decrease of predation after implementation
Replication: 
Surveyed 150 users
Ecosystem: 
Australia-wide. Case study Mitchell grasslands.
Full Reference: 
van Bommel L. & Johnson C. N. (2012) Good dog! Using livestock guardian dogs to protect livestock from predators in Australia’s extensive grazing systems. Wildlife Research 39, 220-9.