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Revista chilena de historia natural

Print version ISSN 0716-078X


SILVA-RODRIGUEZ, EDUARDO A; SOTO-GAMBOA, MAURICIO; ORTEGA-SOLIS, GABRIEL R  and  JIMENEZ, JAIME E. Foxes, people and hens: human dimensions of a conflict in a rural area of southern Chile. Rev. chil. hist. nat. [online]. 2009, vol.82, n.3, pp.375-386. ISSN 0716-078X.

Human-carnivore conflict has been recognized as one of the main threats to carnivore conservation. When small livestock or poultry are available, small carnivores will likely prey upon them. Centinela -a rural área located in Southern Chile where chillas (Lycalopex griseus Gray) and small farmers coexist- was chosen as a study site. To understand potential conflicts we conducted interviews to assess local knowledge, experiences, and attitudes toward this fox and small stock management. Almost a third of the interviewed people reported the loss of poultry during the last year due to chillas, which was confirmed by dietary analysis in a parallel study. Consequently, most research participants (67.4 %) had negative attitudes toward the chilla. Management appeared to be related to poultry losses, since no losses were reported when poultry was confined in henhouses, suggesting that continuous confinement was an effective measure to prevent the conflict. The negative attitudes are further reflected in that most people reported to have killed at least one chilla.

Keywords : carnivore conservation; human attitudes; human-wildlife conflicts; Lycalopex griseus; subsistence farming.

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