Use barriers to keep livestock off ungrazed freshwater marshes
Overall effectiveness category No evidence found (no assessment)
Number of studies: 0
Background information and definitions
This action involves excluding livestock – with physical barriers such as fences or hedgerows, or virtual barriers involving GPS trackers and negative sounds or electric shocks (SRUC 2015) – from an area of natural, ungrazed marsh or swamp. Here, “ungrazed” refers to the recent history of a site, so studies of sites that have not been recently grazed and so have regained their natural ecological character would also be included here.
Domestic livestock can directly consume vegetation, destroy vegetation by trampling, create bare patches of ground (e.g. repeatedly used tracks), affect water infiltration and flows by compacting soils, affect nutrient balance through excretion of waste products, and import seeds of undesirable plants (Morris & Reich 2013).
Related actions: Exclude or remove livestock from historically grazed freshwater marshes; Use grazing to maintain or restore disturbance; Use grazing to control problematic plants; Exclude wild vertebrates; Use fences or barriers to protect planted areas.
Morris K. & Reich P. (2013) Understanding the Relationship Between Livestock Grazing and Wetland Condition. Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Technical Report Series No. 252.
SRUC (2015) Virtual Fencing Systems for Livestock. Available at https://www.sruc.ac.uk/download/downloads/id/3128/virtual_fencing_systems_for_livestock.pdf. Accessed 7 January 2020.