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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Assessing the use of swing gates in game fences as a potential non-lethal predator exclusion technique

Published source details

Schumann M., Schumann B., Dickman A., Watson L.H. & Marker L. (2006) Assessing the use of swing gates in game fences as a potential non-lethal predator exclusion technique. South African Journal of Wildlife Research, 36, 173-181

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

Install mammal crossing points along fences on farmland Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A controlled, before-and-after study in 2001–2002 on a game and livestock farm in Otjiwarongo district, Namibia (Schumann et al. 2006) found that installing swing gates along animal routes in game fencing reduced the digging of holes by animals under the fence, whilst preventing large predator entry. Fewer holes were dug under a fence section with gates installed on animal routes (12.2 holes/survey) than on sections with evenly spaced gates (20.2 holes/survey) or no gates (19.1 holes/survey). Before gate installation, there was no significant difference in hole numbers between sections (animal route gates: 20.0 holes/survey; evenly spaced gates: 25.7 holes/survey; no gates: 21.7 holes/survey). Warthogs Phacochoerus aethiopicus were the most frequent gate users. Jackals Canis mesomelas, cheetahs Acinonyx jubatus and leopards Panthera pardus passed through holes but not the gates. A game fence (4,800 m long) was divided into three equal sections. One had six gates on established animal routes, one had eight evenly spaced gates and one had no gates. Swing gates comprised a metal frame (45 × 30 cm) covered with galvanised fencing (75-mm mesh). Holes were surveyed and filled at 3–15-day intervals, from August 2001 to April 2002. Animals were identified by signs and heat sensitive cameras.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)