Control populations of wild herbivores
Overall effectiveness category No evidence found (no assessment)
Number of studies: 0
Background information and definitions
Herbivores are animals that eat plants. Wild herbivores on temperate peatlands include deer, rabbits, hares, kangaroos, feral horses, feral pigs, grouse and slugs. Insects, monkeys and other large mammals are important herbivores in tropical peatlands. Herbivores can damage peatland vegetation directly, by eating it. Herbivores can also have indirect effects on peatland vegetation. Large animals can trample and compact peat. Beavers, introduced to Tierra del Fuego, can flood existing peatlands when they build dams or drain peatlands through channels formed when dams fail (Grootjans et al. 2014). Controlling herbivore populations (e.g. by trapping, shooting or applying pesticides) could reduce these impacts.
Caution: These actions might have negative side effects for the rest of the food chain (e.g. less food for predators of the controlled animals, accumulation of poisons in non-target animals) or could directly kill non-target animals.
Key peatland types where this action may be appropriate: bogs, fens/fen meadows, tropical peat swamps.
Related actions: interventions to address the threat from domestic livestock, which may be the dominant herbivores on peatlands e.g. excluding livestock, changing type of livestock or changing timing of grazing.
Grootjans A., Iturraspe R., Fritz C., Moen A. & Joosten H. (2014) Mires and mire types of Peninsula Mitre, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. Mires and Peat, 14, Article 1.