Conservation Evidence strives to be as useful to conservationists as possible. Please take our survey to help the team improve our resource.

Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Wolf predation on cattle in Portugal: Assessing the effects of husbandry systems

Published source details

Pimenta V., Barros I., Boitani L. & Beja P. (2017) Wolf predation on cattle in Portugal: Assessing the effects of husbandry systems. Biological Conservation, 207, 17-26


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

Keep livestock in enclosures to reduce predation by mammals to reduce human-wildlife conflict Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated, site comparison study in 2012–2014 of 68 cattle farms in a mountainous region dominated by agricultural land, forests and shrubs in northern Portugal (Pimenta et al. 2017) found that farms that often kept cattle in barns or enclosures suffered fewer wolf Canis lupus attacks than did farms with free-ranging cattle. The average annual number of wolf attacks was lower on farms that often confined cattle (2.4 attacks/year) than on farms with free-ranging cattle (9.0 attacks/year). Eighteen farms suffered no wolf attacks, 42 had 1–9 wolf attacks and eight had >9 wolf attacks. The study was conducted in an area of approximately 20,000 km2. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in 2013–2014 with 68 cattle farmers reporting high or low levels of wolf-attacks during 2012–2013. Interview responses were used to classify farms as those that often confined cattle within fences or in barns year-round, or those using a free-ranging system, in which animals were rarely confined with fences or in barns (except at night during winter).

(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)