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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: An electric fence to deter polar bears

Published source details

Davies J.C. & Rockwell R.F. (1986) An electric fence to deter polar bears. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 14, 406-409


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

Scare or otherwise deter mammals from human-occupied areas to reduce human-wildlife conflict Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A before-and-after study in 1983–1985 at a research compound in Manitoba, Canada (Davies & Rockwell 1986) found that after the area was enclosed with an electric fence, no polar bears Ursus maritimus entered it. Over a total of approximately five months over two summers with the fence installed, no polar bears entered the compound. However, before the fence was installed in those years and in the previous year before it was first installed, nine different bears visited the compound, some on multiple occasions. The study was conducted in a research compound where 10–15 biologists resided between May and September each year. In July–September 1984 and June–September 1985, a temporary two-strand electric fence was erected around the 300-m compound perimeter. The two strands of wire were 30 and 60 cm above the water or ground. The fence emitted 40 pulses/min of direct current (peak output of 8,000 volts). When the fence activated, two 110-decibel horns also sounded.

(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)