Llamas are being used to protect sheep from wolves in Sweden. Farmers in the US have been utilizing llamas to protect livestock from coyotes for years. However, it is a new concept for Sweden.
Sheep farmers in southern Sweden have been plagued with wolf attacks that have increased in frequency. Smaller farms are easily protected with fences that keep the wolves off their land, but it is impossible to completely surround larger farms with fencing.
As reported by The Local, llamas will be placed on two large Swedish farms by the end of this month. The llamas will be used on a trial basis to determine if they are effective.
Some residents are concerned that the llamas will be harmed or killed by the wolves, but experts are confident it will work. Expert on predatory management, Nils Carlsson, points out that llamas have a naturally aggressive demeanor.
Carlsson explains that llamas are fairly large, strong and have an instinct to protect their territory. They rarely back down from a confrontation. Carlsson explains that goat farmers in the US have successfully used llamas to protect their livestock from coyotes.
As discussed by Lost Creek Llamas, llamas can be effective for guarding and herding livestock. They are often used to protect alpacas, sheep, goats, cattle, and other smaller livestock from coyotes. Llamas are preferred over dogs as they live longer and often bond with the flocks they are guarding.
US farmers usually use pairs of female llamas, rather than one single llama, as they work more effectively in pairs. Females are used as their maternal instinct has been shown to enhance bonding with the livestock.
Sheep farmers in Sweden hope that llamas will effectively protect their sheep from wolves. The program is expected to save the Swedish government money too. Currently, the Swedish government pays around $500 to farmers for each sheep that is killed by wolves. It is estimated that one llama will pay for itself if it protects four sheep from attack.