Community perceptions of free-roaming dogs and management practices in villages at the periphery of a protected area in Bhutan

Dorji Tshering, Tenzin Tenzin, Rinzin Karma, Phimpraphai Waraphon, De Garine-Wichatitsky Michel. 2020. Community perceptions of free-roaming dogs and management practices in villages at the periphery of a protected area in Bhutan. Chiang Mai University Journal of Natural Sciences, 19 (2) : pp. 130-150.

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Abstract : In Bhutan, free-roamingdogs pose health hazards to human, livestock, andwildlife. Understanding the perceptions and practices of local communitiesregarding free-roaming dogs is important to mitigate negative impacts. A community-based study was conducted inthe buffer zone of Strict Nature Reserve, western Bhutan. The study was conducted in February-October 2018 using a household questionnairesurvey, 'free-listing'of dog diseases, group discussions and key-informantinterviews.A total of 140 householdsfromKatsho and Esuegeogs(sub-districts) were interviewed. People classify dogs under three categories: 'Gokhi'/petdog, 'Changkhi'/stray dog, and 'Shakhi'/feraldog. A higher proportion of rural people owned pet dogs, which were considered important to guard crops and livestock from wildlifeandprotect households'properties. Owning a dog also contributed significantly to the non-material well-beingof the respondents, especially in the rural villages. In contrast to the perceived positive impacts of the pet dogs,81%of the respondents considered stray and feral dogs a problem in thecommunity.The threats were attacks/bites by free-roaming dogs to humans, livestock and also wildlife. Rabies was the most frequently (69.7%) known dog diseases with the highest rank (1.46) in the list, followed by scabies (49.5%, rank1.52). The majority (56%) of the respondents indicated that stray and feral dogs originate from abandoned pet dogs. This study calls for a multi-sectorial/One Health approach to mitigate the threats posed by free-roaming dogs and more detailed ecological and epidemiological studies are required to control their impacts.

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Chien, Danger pour la santé, Transmission des maladies, Santé publique, Santé animale, Bétail, Faune et flore sauvages, Zone protegée

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : Bhoutan

Mots-clés complémentaires : One Health

Mots-clés libres : Free-roaming dogs, Perceptions, Livestock, Protected areas, Bhutan

Classification Agris : L73 - Animal diseases
000 - Other themes
P01 - Nature conservation and land resources

Champ stratégique Cirad : CTS 4 (2019-) - Santé des plantes, des animaux et des écosystèmes

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Dorji Tshering, Kasetsart University (THA)
  • Tenzin Tenzin, National Centre for Animal Health (BTN)
  • Rinzin Karma, Animal Health Division (BTN)
  • Phimpraphai Waraphon, Kasetsart University (THA)
  • De Garine-Wichatitsky Michel, CIRAD-BIOS-UMR ASTRE (THA) ORCID: 0000-0002-5438-1473 - auteur correspondant

Source : Cirad-Agritrop (

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