We provide a platform for like-minded and affected people to ask questions and discuss conflicts and solutions involving large carnivores. Also, on this board experts and activists in the field of livestock protection share their expierences, new ideas and projects and offer help to livestock owners.
We focus on the follwoing topics: electric fences, livestock guarding dogs, permanent shepherds and other protection measures.
Feel free to join us and introduce new methods and thoughts about livestock protection and coexistence with large carnivores.
With an electric fence, inadequate, currentless fences can be quickly upgraded and made more wolf repellent depending on their condition. On alpine pastures, the use of mobile electrified fencing nets (Flexinet) or mobile electric wire fences is recommended.
Previous research and practice shows that the use of electric fences significantly limits the access of bears to apiaries, waste dumps and anthropogenic food. The effectiveness of electric fences was rated at 70-100%.
© Moritz Klose WWF
Swen Keller teaches interested audience how to build an electric fence.
In a case study in 2017, electric fences were tested and found that considerably more electric fences are needed to achieve a protective effect. The study was a measure implemented by WWF Ukraine as part of the Eurolargecarnivores project in the Stuzhytsia region. It particularly affected farmers and beekeepers. For more information, please reply in the chat or contact Yolanda Cortés directly.
A Personal experience from Haluska István, a livestock keeper: after he installed the fence and started to use the dogs on a snowy morning he spotted some tracks nearby his electric fence. Dog (kuvasz) tracks were inside the fence as they should be, while on the other side several wolf tracks could be seen. Dogs followed and escorted the wolves paralelly the electric fence, then wolves went into the forest not causing any troubles. This was a non-binding measure implemented by Kuvasz-őr! Programme + own funds (for the fence) in the frame of Haluska István - Forester, Hunter, Livestock keeper in municipality / municipalities in the Zemplén mountain, Komlóska village. It specifically involved Livestock risers, Hunters, Foresters. It operated in 2016 and received financial support from Own funds, Private donors.Please reply to this post for more information or reach out directly to Tomasz Borowik.
Livestock guarding dogs defend their herd against attacks by wolves or other intrudors. They feel like part of the herd and settle down with the pet owner. The dogs live permanently outside and defend "their" herd against all intruders from the outside. To make it all work, well trained herd protection dogs are required, which are adapted to the type of grazing by the livestock. This requires regular checks made by experienced people so that the dogs do not start to behave incorrectly.
Well-trained livestock protection dogs are no danger to walkers and hikers, but they should always leash their dogs.
© Moritz Klose WWF
Swen Keller with two of his livestock guarding dogs.
The project "Pôle Grands Prédateurs" aims to support sheep breeders whose herds are victims of lynx attacks. An important step of the project is to learn breeders the educational protocol of dogs. During this project, we developed a protection tool: the multi-herd guarding dog. We educated a dog in order to place him in one season after another with different farmers whose herds were attacked. This dog was immediately effective and stopped lynx damage. After this test, the Pôle Grands Prédateurs proposed to breeders to take one or two puppies to replace him. In this context, breeders had the experience of a livestock guarding dog, knew the benefits, and could better apprehend the arrival of a new dog on their farms. Since 2015, the Pôle Grands Prédateurs is no longer a breeding pole for livestock guarding dogs. The association continues its action of support to the sheep breeders by being a platform of discussions and putting in relation breeders who look for dogs and breeders who have puppies to place. We also take in charge directly pups placement. Besides, we organized a lot of communication actions around the theme of “livestock guarding dog as a tool of prevention against lynx predation”. Please reply to this post for more information, reach out directly to Jean-Marc Landry or go to our website: www.polegrandspredateurs.org
Studies of the wolf – livestock guarding dog interactions are a source of consistent data that brings new perspectives on the relationships and interactions that occur in herds, their immediate vicinity and their extended periphery. The Canovis project is a possible response to major challenges that aim to significantly improve the coexistence between extensive livestock (sheep, goats, cattle) and wolves. Thanks to scientific research, the project designs and develops concrete and adapted solutions. The discoveries we made during the first 5 years of the project are major. Our results are in the process of completely revolutionizing the knowledge of the eco-ethology of the wolf in pastoral system. Unfortunately, our financial resources are limited and this is our major difficulty to continue the project. Please reply to this post for more information or reach out directly to Gilles Moyones.
Farmers and predators is a format that AlmoNature is trying to spread in both Italy and Europe. This was a non-binding measure implemented by AlmoNature in the frame of Farmers and predators in a province in the mainly Liguria Region. It specifically involved Farmers. It operated for 1 years (from 2016 to 2017) and received partial financial support from Private donors.Please reply to this post for more information or reach out directly to Haluska István, Patkó László.
Shepherding is among the oldest occupations, beginning 5,000 years ago. Sheep were kept for their milk, meat and wool. Over the next thousand years, sheep and shepherding spread throughout Europe.
In modern times, shepherding has changed, because keeping a shepherd in constant attendance can be costly. Also, the eradication of sheep predators in parts of the world have lessened the need for shepherds. Therefore productive breeds of sheep can be left in fields and moved periodically to fresh pasture when necessary.
However, with predators returning to their orginal habitats nowadays, shepherds might become essential again.
© WWF Romania
A traditional shepherd with a guarding dog and a herd of sheep.
The lack of houses for shepherds in the alpine pastures is one of the main obstacles to the establishment of effective guarding of herds, which is essential for good management of the alp and protection against predation. The design and implementation, in an inter-park dimension, of a unique and standard model of a heliportable pastoral hut provides an answer to the need for housing a shepherd on site in better living conditions, while remaining easy to install and totally reversible. La conception et la construction d’un premier modèle de « cabane pastorale héliportable », dans une dimension inter-parcs, prévoit une période de test en conditions réelles d’utilisation pendant une année dans le Parc National de la Vanoise. Cerema: organization and animation of workshops (autumn 2016) in order to clarify the expectations of pastoral professionals. elaboration of the specifications of the pastoral hut with the Vanoise National Park (2017). Vanoise National Park: project owner for the design and actual implementation of the first model of a heliportable pastoral hut and for its in-situ test. This was a non-binding measure implemented by Cerema (Centre d’expertise sur les risques, l’environnement, la mobilité et l’aménagement) and Vanoise National Park in the frame of Writting the specification for the design of a model of a heliportable pastoral hut and realization of a test hut in France but also others countries (US, Europe, etc.) in the France. The prototype pastoral hut must be tested in-situ in the Vanoise National Park.. It specifically involved Livestock risers, Administrative staff (government). It operated for 1 years (from 2016 to 2017) and received financial support from Own funds. Please reply to this post for more information or reach out directly to Olivier PICHARD.
There are not many sheperds left in germany and therefore we have a lot of issues with wolves. Fences and guarding dogs do help, but if a person is in reach of the herd, wolves keep their distance. I am existed to see how germany will handle the diffficult situation in the future.
There are different methods to protect livestock without electric fences and guarding dogs. They can be used as additional protection or as a stand alone method. However, there is always a risk, when not using best practices as electric fences.
© WWF France
Sheep grazing in the pyraene.
The DAPHNIS project aims to develop a new protection tool based on biomimicry and the laws of learning. It consists in developing an innovative protection device fixed directly on livestock. This protection device will trigger during an attack and will learn to exposed wolves to be wary of livestock. Although the livestock guarding dog remains the most effective herd defense against predation, it is not necessarily adapted to all farming systems and sometimes coexists with difficulty with tourist activities (an important pillar of the territorial economy). DAPHNIS looks like a collar and is put on several sheeps of the herd. It will detect an attack and emit a specific repellent. This device, derived from biomimicry, mimics the defense mechanisms that appeared during evolution in few species. Thanks to the principles of learning by association, our objective is that wolves understand the risk of attacking livestock. This new tool, reliable and financially affordable, will: • strengthen traditional prevention (shepherds, fences, scarers, etc.). • offer an alternative where traditional prevention is impossible to implement. • intervene in contexts where traditional prevention reaches its limits of effectiveness. Unfortunately, our financial resources are limited and this is our major difficulty to continue the project. A complete file is available on request. This was abinding measure implemented by IPRA Sàrl until 2017. Jean-Marc Landry Foundation since 2018. in the frame of DAPHNIS PROJECT in a transboundary region in the France: Mercantour National Park Switzerland: Canton of Vaud, Canton of Valais. It specifically involved Journalists, Livestock risers, General public, Administrative staff (government). It operated for 6 years (from 2011 to 2017) and received financial support from Own funds, Private donors, Other sources, Canton of Vaud. The Ark Foundation..Please reply to this post for more information or reach out directly to Madline REYNAUD, directrice de l’ASPAS.
In Lombardia there isn't a stable wolf or bear population but the presence of young males in dispersion is constant This was abinding measure implemented by Lombardia region in the frame of Life WolfAlps, Life Arctos, Life Gestire 2020 in Italian Alps in the Lombardia region. It specifically involved Farmers, Beekeepers, Livestock risers, General public, Administrative staff (government). It operated for 7 years (from 2010 to 2017) and received financial support from EU funds.Please reply to this post for more information or reach out directly to Elisabetta Rossi.
Bears were reintroduced thanks to Life Ursus project, but the wolf population expanded naturally and fastly This was abinding measure implemented by Autonomous Province of Trento in the frame of Life WolfAlps, Life Arctos, Life Dinalp Bear, Life Ursus in a province in the Autonomous Province of Trento. It specifically involved Mayors, Journalists, Farmers, Beekeepers, Livestock risers, Hunters, General public, Administrative staff (government). It operated for 18 years (from 1999 to 2017) and received financial support from EU funds.Please reply to this post for more information or reach out directly to Claudio Groff, Andrea Musoni.
In Friuli there isn't a stable wolf or bear population but the presence of young males in dispersion is constant In Friuli there aren't cases of problematic animals This was abinding measure implemented by Friuli-Venezia Giulia region in the frame of Life WolfAlps, Life Arctos, Life Dinalp Bear in Italian Alps in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region. It specifically involved Mayors, Journalists, Farmers, Beekeepers, Livestock risers, Hunters, General public, Administrative staff (government). It operated for 7 years (from 2010 to 2017) and received financial support from EU funds.Please reply to this post for more information or reach out directly to Umberto Fattori.
In Lombardia there isn't a stable wolf or bear population but the presence of young males in dispersion is constant In Lombardia there haven't been cases of problematic animals This was abinding measure implemented by Lombardia region in the frame of Life WolfAlps, Life Arctos, Life Gestire 2020 in Italian Alps in the Lombardia region. It specifically involved General public, Administrative staff (government). It operated for 7 years (from 2010 to 2017) and received partial financial support from EU funds.Please reply to this post for more information or reach out directly to Elisabetta Rossi.