The White Dog Fund
Reduce conflicts | Prevent unnecessary killing | Increase tolerance
To be truly successful, large carnivore conservation needs local acceptance. You can help achieve this by sharing the burden of living alongside predators with rural communities and making a donation to the White Dog Fund.
Set up in Slovakia with our partners, the Slovak Wildlife Society, the Fund uses donations from supporters of large carnivores to mitigate damage and conflicts caused by wolves and bears. Since 2010, the White Dog Fund has helped livestock farmers who have had sheep killed by wolves and bears, and bee-keepers who have suffered damage to beehives by bears, by quickly providing and installing specially designed predator-proof electric fencing to prevent further loss or damage.
By doing this, we are demonstrating that people in rural communities can turn to conservation organisations for help and receive practical assistance, providing an alternative to complaining that there are too many wolves or bears and that numbers need to be controlled, which generates negative publicity in the local and national media. We understand the importance of having a local contact in the community so that relationships can be built and people know who to ask for help and advice, rather than having to deal with remote and faceless government departments. This also means that preventive measures can be installed correctly on site, training provided and monitoring carried out, all of which increase the effectiveness of protective measures.
The White Dog Fund aims to provide people in rural areas who bear the real cost of co-existing with wolves, brown bears and lynx with prompt and practical assistance to resolve conflicts; a positive alternative to killing predators. The Fund gives everyone, whether you live in a city or in the countryside, the opportunity to share responsibility for conservation of these species by supporting the people most affected by their presence.
The name White Dog comes from an old Slovak folk tale about a livestock guarding dog named Bodrík (click here to read the story). Many traditional livestock guarding dog breeds, including the Slovenský čuvač and Polish Podhalanski, are white, possibly so that they blend in with sheep better and are more easily distinguished from predators by both sheep and shepherd, so the white dog seems an appropriate symbol.
How does the Fund work?
A livestock or property owner who has suffered damage or is worried about damage contacts a local representative.
The representative visits the site to carry out an assessment and make recommendations for protective measures if appropriate.
Protective measures are implemented and training provided by fieldworkers and volunteers, and paid for by the Fund.
Monitoring is carried out and if both sides are satisfied with the results after a trial period, then the livestock or property owner will be offered the chance to buy the materials at 50% of cost, and the revenue will be returned to the Fund.
A fund for reintroduction...?
It is hoped the White Dog Fund will expand to other countries with populations of wolves, bears and lynx, and eventually there is the exciting prospect that the Fund will provide a way for the YOU to share the responsibility for reintroduction of wolves and lynx to the UK, by funding compensation for losses and implementing measures to reduce conflicts between returning carnivores and landowners and farmers.
Make a donation
Your donation will be used to help farmers, beekeepers and property owners in rural areas implement measures to prevent depredation and damage by wolves and bears. All donations over £10 will receive a White Dog certificate to show that you are supporting the Fund.