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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Assessment of shock collars as nonlethal management for wolves in Wisconsin

Published source details

Hawley J.E., Gehring T.M., Schultz R.N., Rossler S.T. & Wydeven A.P. (2009) Assessment of shock collars as nonlethal management for wolves in Wisconsin. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 73, 518-525


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

Deter predation of livestock by using shock/electronic dog-training collars to reduce human-wildlife conflict Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated, randomized, controlled, before-and-after study in 2003–2004 in a forested area in Michigan, USA (Hawley et al. 2009) found that wolves Canis lupus wearing electric shock collars avoided baited areas where shocks were administered, but aversion did not persist. Shocked wolves made fewer visits to the detection zone when shocked (treatment period: 9 visits/wolf) relative to pre-treatment (19 visits/wolf) and post-treatment (16 visits/wolf) periods. There was no corresponding decrease for non-shocked wolves (treatment: 18 visits/wolf; pre-treatment: 21; post-treatment: 19). Shocked wolves spent less time/visit in detection zones during the treatment period (13 minutes/wolf) relative to pre-treatment (77 minutes/wolf) and post-treatment (20 minutes/wolf) periods. No decrease was detected for non-shocked wolves (treatment: 63 minutes/wolf; pre-treatment: 76; post-treatment: 47). Ten wolves (one per pack) were radio-collared in 2003–2004. Five wolves (randomly selected) also received electric shock collars (Innotek Training Shock Collar). A dead deer was placed in each pack’s territory every two to three days. Collared wolves ≤75 m from baits were detected and logged over two weeks (pre-treatment). Treatment wolves, ≤30 m from baits, were shocked (for 13 seconds) over the following two weeks (treatment). For two further weeks (post-treatment), collared wolf visits to the 75 m detection zone were logged.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)