Use target species scent to deter crop damage by mammals to reduce human-wildlife conflict
Overall effectiveness category Unknown effectiveness (limited evidence)
Number of studies: 1
Background information and definitions
Mammals often mark their territories with scent. If artificially placed scents from the same species can restrict movements of animals, this may assist in reducing damage to crops. If successful, this could reduce incentives for carrying out lethal control of such animals.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A replicated, controlled study in 1985 of shrubland in Limpopo, South Africa (Gorman 1986) found that compounds mimicing secretions from African elephant Loxodonta africana temporal glands did not deter feeding or otherwise change elephant behaviour. The rate of sniffing by captive elephants of hardboard pieces into which five scent compounds were absorbed (1–18 times/elephant/hour) did not differ from that for hardboards treated with carboxylic acids (2–15 times/elephant/hour). The rates fell for all boards over the 10-day study. Boards hung directly over feeding troughs did not deter elephants from feeding. Wild elephants exposed to aerosols containing scent compounds or carboxylic acids did not change behaviour. Seven captive elephants, 9–12 months old, held in three pens, were exposed to secretions or carboxylic acid absorbed into hardboards fastened to the sides of pens. Boards were re-treated every two days. Lone wild bull elephants were exposed to scent compounds (18 times) or carboxylic acid (nine times) mixed with water and administered as aerosols. The study was conducted in July–August 1985.Study and other actions tested