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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Evaluation of propane exploders as white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus deterrents at the NASA Plum Brook Station, Ohio, USA

Published source details

Belant J.L., Seamans T.W. & Dwyer C.P. (1996) Evaluation of propane exploders as white-tailed deer deterrents. Crop Protection, 15, 575-578


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Use loud noises to deter crop damage (e.g. banger sticks, drums, tins, iron sheets) by mammals to reduce human-wildlife conflict Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A randomized, controlled, before-and-after study in 1994–1995 on a grassland site in Ohio, USA (Belant et al. 1996) found that motion-activated propane exploders temporarily reduced white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus visits but regularly firing exploders did not. There were fewer deer visits in the week following deployment of motion-activated exploders, in two out of three seasons (23–94 visits/week) compared to the pre-treatment period (159–313 visits/week). In spring/early-summer and late-summer, visit rates returned to pre-treatment levels after 2–6 weeks. In autumn, exploders did not reduce deer visits. Regularly firing exploders did not reduce deer visit rates compared to pre-treatment levels in any weeks studied and neither did non-functioning exploders. The experiment used different combinations of three out of six feeding sites, during 9 August–12 September 1994, 20 September–24 October 1994 and 27 April–12 July 1995. Each time, a two-week pre-treatment period preceded a 3–9-week treatment period. Feeding sites (>1 km apart) were semi-circular fences around whole kernel corn. Treatments were propane exploders firing eight times in two minutes when motion was detected, exploders firing every 8–10 minutes and non-functioning exploders. Deer visits were monitored with electronic detecting devices.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)