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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Evaluation of ElectroBraide™ fencing as a white-tailed deer barrier

Published source details

Seamans T.W. & VerCauteren K.C. (2006) Evaluation of ElectroBraide™ fencing as a white-tailed deer barrier. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 34, 8-15

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Install electric fencing to protect crops from mammals to reduce human-wildlife conflict Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A randomized, replicated, controlled study in 2002–2004 at a woodland and grassland site in Ohio, USA (Seamans & VerCauteren 2006) found that electric fencing deterred white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus when turned on. Significantly fewer deer entered enclosures with electric fencing (0–1 deer/day) than entered enclosures without fencing (72–86 deer/day). When power was applied to fencing in week two, deer entries decreased 88–99%. When power was delayed 10 weeks, entries decreased 90%. When power was turned on and off within a 4-week period, entries decreased 57%. Corn consumption was lower in powered (<2–6.4 kg/day) than in unpowered sites (15–32 kg/day). Ten sites (> 1 km apart) each had two 5 × 5 m enclosures (9 m apart), fenced on three sides, each containing a feed trough that measured food (corn) consumption. Infra-red cameras monitored enclosures. In February 2002, 1.3-m-high electric fencing (7 kV; ElectroBraid™) was installed around one enclosure in each pair. After one week, the treatment and control were swapped. In March 2002, one feed trough was removed from each pair, leaving five sites with troughs, surrounded by electric fencing and five unfenced troughs, for three weeks. In December 2002, all sites had electric fencing but five had it turned on and five off for one week. Power was then off for two weeks and then the same repeated. Treatment and control sites were then swapped (10 weeks since start) with the power on for three weeks at treatment sites. In January 2004, five were fenced and five were controls without fencing, for six weeks. Before each trial there was a week with no treatments.

(Summarised by Rebecca K. Smith)