Individual study: Efficacy of electronet fencing for excluding coyotes: a case study for enhancing production of black-footed ferrets
Matchett M.R., Breck S.W. & Callon J. (2013) Efficacy of electronet fencing for excluding coyotes: a case study for enhancing production of black-footed ferrets. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 37, 893-900
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Use fencing to exclude predators or other problematic species
A controlled, before-and-after study in 2010 at a grassland in Montana, USA (Matchett et al. 2013) found that electric fencing reduced coyote Canis latrans incursions into black-tailed prairie dog Cynomys ludovicianus colonies that supported breeding black-footed ferrets Mustela nigripes. There was a lower rate of coyote incursions with the fence in place (four incursions during 84 search nights – 7% of coyote sightings during this period) than before it was installed (eight from 24 search nights – 42% of sightings) and after it was removed (20 from 34 search nights – 47% of sightings). Black-footed ferrets were reintroduced to the site in 1994. Two electric (electronet) fences, totalling 7.7 km and enclosing 108 ha, were erected on 27 July 2010 and removed on 2 October 2010. Fencing comprised nine horizontal poly-conductors, 10 cm apart, alternating between grounded and charged. Conductive polytape (2 cm wide) was strung above this at 107 cm high. Coyote sightings were noted inside fenced areas and in two unfenced areas during spotlight ferret surveys from 28 June to 26 July (pre-exclosure), 27 July to 2 October (exclosure) and 3 October to 24 October (post-exclosure). Coyotes found inside exclosures were expelled through temporarily lowered fence sections.
(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)