Portable electric fence as a mitigation measure against predation
Living with carnivores on a daily basis, mobile pastoralists have an important role in determining how best to coexist.
Fragmentation or loss of habitats are the very same pressures that threaten both mobile pastoralists and nature. These are also the main drivers of the decrease in the abundance of wild preys for carnivores which may lead them to increase their foraging ranges and predation on livelihoods. This issue calls for being addressed at the overall nature conservation policies taking the root causes of these conflicts into account, such as recovery of wild ungulate populations.
It is also important to generate solutions at local level that incorporate the concerns both for human safety and livelihoods and nature conservation. Rather then taking reactive measures after incidents, the emphasis should be on preventation with adequate techniques. Traditional use of livestock guarding dogs, such as Kangal and Akbaş breeds, is one example. One other is electric fence as a novel technique.
While permanent electric fences have started to be used by pastoralists in Turkey, the needs of mobile pastoralists call for mobile solutions.
Presenting options and tools for mobile pastoralists, Yolda in consultation with its Spanish Partner Trashumancia y Naturaleza, wanted to introduce portable electric fence in Turkey. Granting a portable electric fence to Koçbıyık family, we will find out together its effectiveness towards mitigating the risks regarding wolf-human conflict.
We unpacked the equipment and experienced ourselves what it is like to be electrocuted. The real trial will be at the summer pastures where wolf attack is a possibility.
Easy to set up and take down, portable electric fence is among the proactive and preventative non-lethal measures having benefits for both mobile pastoralists and carnivores. While there is no continuous charge of electricity running through the fence, the charger emits a burst of electricity through the fence which doesn’t cause an injury but also which predators can’t become accustomed to.
Yolda will conduct these trials with other mobile pastoralist families as well. You can watch a short video of this first trial here