Action

Use electric fencing to exclude large native herbivores

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
    65%
  • Certainty
    10%
  • Harms
    0%

Source countries

Key messages

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

 

About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. 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.

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Agra H., Schowanek S., Carmel Y., Smith R.K. & Ne’eman G. (2019) Forest Conservation. Pages 331-347 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, N. Ockendon, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2019. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.

 

Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

All the journals searched for all synopses

Forest Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Forest Conservation
Forest Conservation

Forest Conservation - Published 2016

Forest synopsis

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, terrestrial mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

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