Conservation Evidence strives to be as useful to conservationists as possible. Please take our survey to help the team improve our resource.

Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Exclude wild mammals using ditches, moats, walls or other barricades to reduce human-wildlife conflict Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

Key messages

Read our guidance on Key messages before continuing

  • Two studies evaluated the effects of excluding wild mammals using ditches, moats, walls or other barricades to reduce human-wildlife conflict. One study was in Cameroon and Benin and one was in Cameroon.





  • Human-wildlife conflict (2 studies): Two studies (including one before-and-after study and one site comparison), in Cameroon and Benin and in Cameroon, found that fewer livestock were predated when they were kept in enclosures, especially when these were reinforced.

Supporting evidence from individual studies


A replicated, before-and-after study in 2004–2006 at a national park in Cameroon and a national park in Benin (Bauer et al. 2010) found that when livestock enclosures were reinforced, fewer livestock were predated. In Cameroon, no cattle or pigs were predated from reinforced enclosures compared to six cattle predated (by lions Panthera leo) and 20 pigs predated (three by lions, 17 by hyenas Crocuta crocuta) from non-reinforced enclosures. In Benin, four cattle were predated (by lions) and 16 pigs (2 by lions, 14 by hyenas) from reinforced enclosures compared to 13 cattle predated (12 by lions, one by hyenas) and 53 pigs (28 by lions, 25 by hyenas) before reinforcements were added. In Cameroon, 75% of pastoralists across six villages in a national park buffer zone upgraded livestock enclosures. Enclosures comprised a thick layer of thorny shrubs and/or earth walls, with a safe gate (wood, or a complete tree Acacia seyal crown as a ‘gate-plug’). Their performance was compared with that of non-reinforced enclosures over an unspecified period. In Benin, 13 enclosures were improved in 10 villages around a national park. The improved enclosures comprised sundried clay bricks covered with a clay/cement mixture (‘banco’), similar to local houses. Livestock predation figures before (2004) and after (2005–2006) improvements were collated.


A site comparison study in 2008 of savanna around a national park in Cameroon (Tumenta et al. 2013) found that barricading livestock inside enclosures overnight reduced losses through predation by lions Panthera leo. Households owning enclosures lost an average of one animal/year to lion predation compared to two animals/year for households not owning enclosures. Owning enclosures did not reduce overall numbers of livestock predated by all mammalian predators (lions, spotted hyaenas Crocuta crocuta and jackals Canis aureus) (with enclosure: 4 animals predated/year; without enclosure: 5). However, fewer animals were lost by households that owned solid enclosures (2 animals/year) than those that owned enclosures made of thorny bushes (7 animals/year). In total, 207 resident pastoralists were interviewed for this study. Pastoralists reported the incidence of predation on livestock by large carnivores as well as whether their livestock were confined in enclosures at night. Villages were selected based on the tracking of movements of radio-collared lions.

Referenced papers

Please cite as:

Littlewood, N.A., Rocha, R., Smith, R.K., Martin, P.A., Lockhart, S.L., Schoonover, R.F., Wilman, E., Bladon, A.J., Sainsbury, K.A., Pimm S. and Sutherland, W.J. (2020) Terrestrial Mammal Conservation: Global Evidence for the Effects of Interventions for terrestrial mammals excluding bats and primates. Synopses of Conservation Evidence Series. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.