The short-term effectiveness of various deterrents designed to reduce crop foraging by primates

Crop foraging is a major driver of negative interactions between farmers and wildlife. In this new paper, we investigate the effectiveness of six different methods designed to deter primates from crop foraging on commercial farms in the Limpopo Province, South Africa. We tested rubber snakes, a leopard model, bioacoustics sounds, human sounds, bee sounds and an electric fence. The use of model snakes and bioacoustic sounds had no effect on the baboon visits and amount of time spent at the bait site. The leopard model and bee sounds reduced the foraging duration at bait stations of baboons and vervets. Human sounds may reduce the frequency of visits to bait stations. We found that only electric fence was effective at reducing crop foraging. However, the use of electric fences can have negative consequences for other wildlife species such as tortoises. Therefore, we suggest that modifications to electric fence designs are needed to reduce the number of wildlife mortalities before they can be recommended as an effective deterrent.

Data collection for the deterrent trials were conducted by volunteers and we are grateful for their contribution to our ongoing research. If you’re interested in volunteering with us, or have an idea for a deterrent to test, please get in touch.

To read the full article, please contact Dr. Leah Findlay or request on researchgate.

To read more about our other research, here.

Electric fence surrounding a crop field

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: