Elk use of modified fence-crossing designs

  • Published source details Knight J.E., Swensson E.J. & Sherwood H. (1997) Elk use of modified fence-crossing designs. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 25, 819-822


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use livestock fences that are permeable to wildlife

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Use livestock fences that are permeable to wildlife

    A replicated, controlled study in 1994 on a grassland site in New Mexico, USA (Knight et al. 1997) found that fences with a lowered top wire were crossed more by elk Cersus elaphus than were conventional fences. Of 10 fence designs trialled, two were crossed significantly more frequently than were conventional 100-cm high fences comprising four barbed wires. The two designs crossed most both involved lowering the top wire and fastening it to the second wire down, 80 cm above the ground. One also had the third wire attached to the bottom wire. These fences were crossed 4.6 and 4.3 times/day respectively. Conventional fences were crossed 2.3 times/day. No livestock escapes occurred during the trial. Fence sections, 15 m long, with 6–9 replicates of each design, were monitored for 21 days in late July–September 1994. Fence crossings were confirmed by presence of tracks and by breaks in a thread above the fence.

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