Study

Evaluation of wire fences for coyote control

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Install electric fencing to reduce predation of livestock by mammals to reduce human-wildlife conflict

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

Install non-electric fencing to exclude predators or herbivores and reduce human-wildlife conflict

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Install electric fencing to reduce predation of livestock by mammals to reduce human-wildlife conflict

    A replicated, controlled study in 1975–1976 in a captive facility in Oregon, USA (Thompson 1979) found that most coyotes Canis latrans crossed electric fences and all 18 electric fence designs trialled were crossed by at least some coyotes. Coyotes crossed fences in 48–100% of the 20–30 tests/design. The most successful design (crossed in 13 of 27 tests) included three low-down electric wires laid out horizontally from the main vertical conventional fence (99-cm-high woven wire with two barbed wires above and one at the base). See paper for further details of fence designs. Tests involved 10 coyotes, conditioned to walk a route. Electric fences of 18 designs were sequentially placed along this route and 20–30 tests were conducted for each to see if coyotes would cross. The 18 designs represented modifications of standard fences used to house livestock in the study area, supplemented with wires charged by a 12-V battery. Trials were conducted from April 1975 to March 1976 and lasted each time for 10–15 minutes.

    (Summarised by: Ricardo Rocha)

  2. Install non-electric fencing to exclude predators or herbivores and reduce human-wildlife conflict

    A replicated, controlled study in 1975–1976 in a captive facility in Oregon, USA (Thompson 1979) found that a high woven wire fence with small mesh, an overhang and an wire apron projecting out from the fence base (to deter burrowing) was the most effective of 34 fence designs at deterring crossings by coyotes Canis latrans. Fence performance varied from 0 to 71% of coyotes failing to cross fences. The best-performing non-electric fence prevented more crossings (14 of 15 trials) than did the best-performing electric fence (11 of 15 trials) or a standard sheep fence (6 of 15 trials). One of two coyotes, which had already crossed a standard sheep fence, crossed the best-performing fence during each of two tests whilst the other failed to cross it during four tests. Best-performing fence measurements were not stated explicitly but the paper recommends fences are ≥168 cm high, with mesh ≤15.2 × 10.2 cm and with an overhang and apron of ≥38 cm. Initial tests involved 10 coyotes, conditioned to walk a route, with 34 fence designs sequentially installed on the route. Subsequent trials, with five new coyotes, tested their ability to cross fences to reach a tethered rabbit. In final trials, coyotes that crossed a standard sheep fence and killed a tethered rabbit were tested using the best-performing fence design. Coyotes were wild caught. Trials were conducted from April 1975 to March 1976.

    (Summarised by: Alexis Kovach )

Output references

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, terrestrial mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 18

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.


Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust