How Long Do Anti-Predator Interventions Remain Effective? Patterns, Thresholds and Uncertainty
October 31, 2019
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.
Author(s): Igor Khorozyan and Matthias Waltert