Case for Predator control of Rodent Grazing

Observed from 2 July - 2 Aug 2012 at Clifton / Cat Conservation Trust, Cradock :         

Winter grass in an enclosure at the cats kept short by only 3 guinea pigs (rodents).          
Control is an empty Enclosure next to guinea pigs which has green grass 100 - 150 mm tall.         

Size of enclosure with  Guinea pigs  =  4 m x 20 m  
Guinea pigs total  =  3      
         
Grass eaten per guinea pig per day    =   27 m2 
         
1000 guinea pigs will therefore eat HA per day: 1000  = 2.67 HA / DAY 
(this is a realistic number of rodents for an average size farm without predators)         

1000 guinea pigs will therefore eat HA per YEAR  =  973 HA / YR !!! 
         
Sheep Ewes which therefore CANNOT be sustained  due to excessive rodents  = 369 EWES 

ADD to loss by costs to control predators   =  R 15000   

TOTAL LOSS of income from ALL such Sheep ewes not able to carry = R -310318 due to predator removal.

         
Reduce Loss :

by having only 2/3 of rodents removed by predators     = R  -100368  
(Carry More Ewes : 247 x R / EWE 850 = Total additional income R 209950)

Further, due to having more food available for game/sheep to eat thus more game to harvest and sell:  more Springbuck 50 x R 300 = R 15000

so Loss is reduced to = R -85368 

Reduce loss by having more seed bank and improved veld due to less rodents consumption    = R 50000      

so Loss is reduced to = R -35368 

and also reduce loss by NO costs to control predators     = R  15000, so

The final figure shows only a small Loss = R -20368 per year ( which can be offset by added value like tourism as you will have an attractive farm due to having biodiversity )

So such initial loss must be seen as an investment in wildlife biodiversity, healthier environment and conservation on your farm  - we rest our case, therefore, that predators are Incredibly ECONOMICALLY important to balance the grazing on your farm or game farm. This small loss will eventually become a GAIN over time. It pays to leave the Predators alone, for long term benefits to you, the farmer and your future generations.         

Rodent Grazing
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predator control of rodents

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