Action: Install automatically closing gates at field entrances to prevent mammals entering to reduce human-wildlife conflict
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- One study evaluated the effects on mammal movements of installing automatically closing gates at field entrances to reduce human-wildlife conflict. This study was in USA.
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- Human-wildlife conflict (1 study): A replicated, controlled study, in the USA found that vehicle-activated bump gates prevented white-tailed deer from entering enclosures.
Wild mammals can compete with domestic herbivores for food, can predate domestic herbivores or can damage crops. Human-wildlife conflict can be reduced if wild mammals can be effectively excluded from fields. Gates through fences can provide crossing points if there is a risk of the gate being left open. Gates that close automatically may reduce the risk of wild mammals entering such fields. If successful, this may reduce incentives for carrying out lethal control of such mammals.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A replicated, controlled study, in 2006–2007, in three forest and grassland sites in Ohio, Iowa and Wisconsin, USA (VerCauteren et al. 2009) found that vehicle-activated bump gates prevented white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus entry into enclosures. Bump gates excluded deer from all enclosures. At enclosures without bump gates, there were averages across the three sites of 0.4, 33.0 and 49.0 deer entries/day. However, supplementary tests on a separate bump gate revealed that it did not always close securely following vehicle passage. Deer-resistant enclosures (6 × 6 m, baited with alfalfa cubes) were constructed at three sites. At each site, two enclosures (one each in forest and grassland) had bump gates installed (designed to open upon low-speed vehicle contact and close after vehicle passage) and two (one each in forest and grassland) had open gateways. Deer movements into enclosures were monitored using camera traps from December 2006 to April 2007.