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At the Interface between Livestock and Predators: Reducing the Risk of Livestock-Predator Interactions among Youth Animal Owners

  • Author(s): Smith, Martin H.
  • Ankenman, Colette
  • Quinn, Niamh
  • et al.
Abstract

Predator issues related to interactions with livestock and poultry represent a state, national, and international issue. Predators are important for healthy ecosystems; however, with increased interactions between predators and agricultural animals there is also an increased likelihood of predator depredation. The 4-H Youth Development Program is a national nonformal youth education program. Annually, over 1.5 million youth participate in 4-H Animal Science projects, mainly agricultural animals. 4-H youth who raise agricultural animals face issues of predator-livestock interactions. A 4-H curriculum was developed to help youth learn about predator-livestock interactions and strategies to mitigate these issues through improved animal husbandry. Pilot research on the use of the curriculum revealed improved knowledge among participating youth, as well as the application of mitigation strategies to youths’ own practice and outreach to their communities through a service-learning project.

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