Install mechanical barriers to deter primates (e.g. fences, ditches)
Overall effectiveness category No evidence found (no assessment)
Number of studies: 0
Background information and definitions
Fencing is the most often used mechanical barrier to keep animals out of agricultural lands. However, fence design and materials can be very expensive and must constantly be maintained. In addition, primates quickly learn how to by-pass electric fences. Furthermore, the area on either side of the fence has to be kept clear of tall vegetation to prevent the animals using overhanging branches to move across the fence. This suggests that such fencing might be more effective for restraining larger, less agile animals such as great apes, than for baboons Papio spp. and guenons Cercopithecus spp. that are able to jump considerable distances. Walls and ditches, on the other hand are considered largely ineffective because of most primate species’ agility and climbing skills (Strum 1994). Canals could be useful barriers, but they have to be deep and wide enough to deter primates from crossing. However, deep, wide canals can create a drowning risk for primates and for humans, as well as pose disease risks if water becomes stagnant, and could become ineffective if problems develop with maintaining water levels. Canals and their banks must be kept devoid of items that primates might use as tools to get across (Hockings & Humle 2009).
Hockings K. & Humle T. (2009) Best Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Mitigation of Conflict Between Humans and Great Apes. Report by the IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group (PSG).
Strum S.C. (1994) Prospects for management of primate pests. Revue d'Ecologie (Terre et Vie), 49, 295–306.