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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Use electric fencing to exclude large native herbivores Forest Conservation

Key messages

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  • One controlled study in South Africa found that using electric fencing to exclude elephants and nyalas increased tree density.

 

Supporting evidence from individual studies

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A controlled study in 2005-2007 in Sand Forest in South Africa (Lagendijk et al. 2011) found that exclusion of elephant Loxodonta africana and nyala Tragelaphus angasii increased tree density. The density of all trees was higher when both species were excluded than unfenced plots (unfenced: ~8,000/ha; elephant excluded: ~10,000; nyala and elephant excluded: ~14,000). The density of seedlings was higher when both species were excluded than unfenced plots (unfenced: ~5,000; elephant excluded: ~6,000; nyala and elephant excluded: ~8,500). There were no differences between treatments for the density of saplings (unfenced: ~2,000; elephant excluded: ~2,500; nyala and elephant excluded: ~3,200) and grown trees (unfenced: ~1,000; elephant excluded: ~1,500; nyala and elephant excluded: ~2,300). Data was collected in 2007 in 12 plots (20 ×20 m) of each treatment: unfenced (accessible to elephants and nyalas), elephant excluded (inside elephant-excluded area of 3.1 km2 surrounded by electrified-wire) and nyala and elephant excluded (wire-fence exclosures to exclude nyalas inside the elephant-free area) treatments. Treatments were applied in 2005 in a 5.2 km2 Sand Forest patch.

 

Referenced papers

Please cite as:

Agra H., Schowanek S., Carmel Y., Smith R.K. & Ne’eman G. (2018) Forest Conservation. Pages 285-328 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, N. Ockendon, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2018. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.