• Every dog has its day: indigenous Tswana dogs are more practical livestock guardians in an arid African savanna compared with their expatriate cousins

      Horgan, Jane E.; Van der Weyde, Leanne K.; Comley, Jessica; Klein, Rebecca; Parker, Dan M. (2021)
      Livestock guarding dogs (LGDs) have been used for centuries to reduce depredation on livestock and, more recently, to facilitate the conservation of threatened carnivores. Conservation organisations in southern Africa promote the use of Anatolian shepherds as LGDs. However, livestock farmers in Botswana use a variety of breeds for this purpose, including local landrace “Tswana” dogs. Our study sought to test the overall effectiveness of these local breeds as LGDs. Irrespective of breed, all LGDs reduced livestock losses, with 47.9% of farmers experiencing no losses after obtaining a guarding dog. Owners with more LGDs, and LGDs of a single sex, had greater reductions in livestock losses. Anatolian shepherds displayed more behavioural problems than other breeds in our study. The health of LGDs was reliant on them receiving a balanced diet, and owners with fewer dogs reported fewer health issues. Moreover, Tswana guarding dogs were cheaper to purchase and feed than their purebred counterparts. Our results show that local landrace dogs can be considered a cheaper and more practical alternative to purebred LGDs for reducing livestock losses and for mitigating human-wildlife conflict in Botswana.
    • Genome-wide characterization of centromeric satellites from multiple mammalian genomes

      Alkan, C.; Cardone, M. F.; Catacchio, C. R.; Antonacci, F.; O'Brien, S. J.; Ryder, Oliver A.; Purgato, S.; Zoli, M.; Della Valle, G.; Eichler, E. E.; et al. (2011)
      ...We analyzed genome datasets from six species of mammals representing the diversity of the mammalian lineage, namely, horse, dog, elephant, armadillo, opossum, and platypus. We define candidate monomer satellite repeats and demonstrate centromeric localization for five of the six genomes....
    • Space use as an indicator of enclosure appropriateness in African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus)

      Hunter, Sally C.; Gusset, Markus; Miller, Lance J.; Somers, Michael J. (2014)
      A clear understanding of space use is required to more fully understand biological requirements of nonhuman animals in zoos, aid the design of exhibits, and maximize the animals' welfare. This study used electivity indexes to assess space use of two packs of African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) and the appropriateness of two naturalistic, outdoor enclosures at the San Diego Zoo and Bronx Zoo....