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How Long Do Anti-Predator Interventions Remain Effective? Patterns, Thresholds and Uncertainty

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Human–predator conflicts are globally widespread, and effective interventions are essential to protect human assets from predator attacks. As effectiveness also has a temporal dimension, it is of importance to know how long interventions remain most effective and to determine time thresholds at which effectiveness begins to decrease. To address this, we conducted a systematic review of the temporal changes in the effectiveness of non-invasive interventions against terrestrial mammalian predators, defining a temporal trend line of effectiveness for each published case. We found only 26 cases from 14 publications, mainly referring to electric fences (n = 7 cases) and deterrents (n = 7 cases). We found electric fences and calving control to remain highly effective for the longest time, reducing damage by 100% for periods between three months and 3 years. The effectiveness of acoustical and light deterrents as well as guarding animals eroded quite fast after one to five months. Supplemental feeding was found to be counter-productive by increasing damage over time instead of reducing it. We stress that it is vital to make monitoring a routine requirement for all intervention applications and suggest to standardize periods of time over which monitoring can produce meaningful and affordable information.

Document: Non-lethal-effectiveness.pdf  PDF icon

Author(s): Igor Khorozyan and Matthias Waltert

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