The eye-cow project is a simple and low cost attempt to reduce livestock-carnivore conflict by painting eyes on the hinds of cattle. This approach relies on the prediction that ambush predators such as lions and leopards will abandon the hunt when they are ‘seen’ by their prey.
Experimental work, funded initially by a lot of wonderful people through the crowdfunding campaign on Experiment.com, focused on establishing the effectiveness of the technique in northern Botswana. This experiment was completed with further funding from Taronga Conservation Society Australia (to Neil Jordan), and Cleveland Metro Parks zoo (to lead author and UNSW PhD student Cameron Radford), and this work is now published in the journal Communications Biology. To read the full results of this work, you can find the paper here.
Guides to using the eye-cow technique
Given the success of the technique in preventing lion attacks on livestock, we have produced video and pictorial guides to the practical use of the technique.
These guides were produced in combination with Bobby-Jo Photography, and were funded by Taronga Conservation Society Australia.
Re mmôgô project to implement eye-cow
Encouraging and facilitating coexistence with large carnivores is the key aim of the Re mmôgô project, a new coexistence project at BPC funded by the Natural Selection Conservation Trust and Taronga Conservation Society Australia. Demonstrating the eye-cow technique, and providing interested farmers with access to this and other evidence-based non-lethal tools will form a key part of the daily work undertaken by the team, headed up by Re mmôgô/coexistence officer Tshepo Ditlhabang who is working on the ground with BPC.