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Attitudes Toward and Impacts of Free-roaming Dogs in Madagascar

Cite this dataset

Merz, Leandra et al. (2021). Attitudes Toward and Impacts of Free-roaming Dogs in Madagascar [Dataset]. Dryad.


Free-roaming domesticated dogs interact with humans and wildlife in ways that can exacerbate or mitigate existing conflict. Dogs are known to predate wildlife as well as domestic livestock which contributes to increasing human-wildlife conflict.  However, dogs can also mitigate conflict by protecting livestock from native predators or killing invasive pest species. Because attitudes toward dogs vary greatly, conflict often arises between humans over how to manage free-roaming dogs.

We conducted surveys to assess attitudes toward domesticated dogs, behavior of dogs, and impacts on domestic and wild species. Dog owners who accessed Mad Dog Initiative's mobile vaccination clinics between 2014 and 2019 were asked to participate in the survey.  Mobile clinic sites were located in communities surrounding Andasibe-Mantadia and Ranomafana National Parks in eastern Madagascar.

We found that people were generally favorable toward spay/neuter options.  Over 40% of participants reported that their dogs had killed wildlife and livestock predation by dogs was also common.  There was high spatial variation in human attitudes, dog behavior, and predation rates.


The dataset was collected from surveys of pet owners between 2014 and 2019. Here we have a subset of only dog owners with additional variables to record GPS location, year, region, and distance to national park as calculated in GIS software. We also converted the multiple answer question of reason for owning dogs into separate dummy variables.

Usage notes

see ReadMe file for detailed information