Flashing lights ward off livestock-hunting pumas in northern Chile

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored A new paper reports that Foxlights, a brand of portable, intermittently flashing lights, kept pumas away from herds of alpacas and llamas during a recent calving season in northern Chile.Herds without the lights nearby lost seven animals during the four-month study period.The research used a “crossover” design, in which the herds without the lights at the beginning of the experiment had them installed halfway through, removing the possibility that the herds were protected by their locations and not the lights themselves. Pulsating lights placed around llama and alpaca herds warded off puma attacks during a recent experiment in Chile, suggesting the method might help avert conflict between herders and dwindling populations of the predator.“The implications are huge,” Omar Ohrens, a postdoctoral scholar in environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and lead author of a study on the findings, said in an interview.The landscape of the Andean Plateau in Chile, with the village of Chulluncane in the foreground. Image by Omar Ohrens.In the study by Ohrens and his colleagues published online Jan. 3 in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, pumas left herds alone that had Foxlights set up close to the llamas and alpacas’ sleeping areas during a recent four-month calving season. During the same period, cats killed seven animals from herds that did not have the lights, which blink in a random pattern designed to mimic a person walking with a flashlight and other human activity.The puma (Puma concolor) is a critical part of the ecology of the high plains of the Andean Plateau, also called the Altiplano, of northern Chile. Such large predators regulate the number of herbivores on the landscape, keeping the entire ecosystem in balance.But when mountain lions pick off livestock, it threatens the livelihoods of the people who depend on that resource. In a 2016 study, Ohrens and his colleagues reported that pastoralists in this part of Chile estimate they lose 10 percent of their animals each year to pumas.A puma track spotted near the study site. Image by Omar Ohrens.The pumas, too, are at risk following these incidents, as herders look to eliminate the threat. But research has shown that killing a predator suspected of targeting livestock doesn’t always work, Ohrens said. What’s more, his earlier surveys of the Aymara llama and alpaca herders of the Altiplano revealed that most people didn’t want to kill pumas. That led Ohrens to find a way to identify and test a potential, non-lethal solution to this problem.In the planning stages of this study, he asked the herders themselves to choose from a variety of potential non-lethal deterrents, and they settled on Foxlights. Developed in Australia to keep young lambs safe from foxes, Foxlights also fit the grasslands of northern Chile. The wide-open plains of the Altiplano allow for the lights to be seen from as far away as 1.6 kilometers (1 mile), according to the manufacturer. And the sunlight that bathes the plateau, which sits between 3,000 and 5,500 meters (9,800 and 18,000 feet) above sea level, can recharge the lights’ batteries during the day.Researchers set up a camera trap near the study site. Image by Omar Ohrens.During the calving season in late 2016 and early 2017, Ohrens and his teammates compared the incidence of livestock kills in herds with lights installed nearby to deaths in herds without them.To make sure that they weren’t just witnessing a single puma zero in on herds without lights — an unlikely, but possible, situation given the large home ranges of pumas, the authors write — they set up camera traps around the herds of the 11 farmers who were part of the study. The images confirmed that at least three different cats were in the area.In a twist, Ohrens found that the lights did not spook off Andean foxes (Lycalopex culpaeus) going after young lambs. That didn’t come as a shock to Ohrens, who has worked in this part of his native Chile for seven years.Villablanca Lagoon and Sillajuay Mountain in the Andean Plateau. Image by Omar Ohrens.“What I’ve seen is that Andean foxes are not very scared of humans — they can get pretty close and even take food from people’s hands,” he said in a statement. “So they’re not going to be scared by lights that simulate human activity.”To further bolster the study’s rigor, the team also moved the lights partway through the experiment from the herds that had them at the beginning of the study to the ones that didn’t. They got similar results, demonstrating that the location of the herds didn’t determine whether the lights were effective.“That’s why this study is so important,” Adrian Treves, a co-author of the study and professor of environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin, said in the statement. “Omar’s study shows that non-lethal methods have been proven effective in multiple settings with different livestock and carnivores.”Banner image of study participants setting up a Foxlight next to a livestock sleeping site by Omar Ohrens. John Cannon is a Mongabay staff writer based in the Middle East. Find him on Twitter: @johnccannonCorrection: An earlier version of this article misstated the study site location. It took place in northern, not southern, Chile.Ohrens, O., Bonacic, C., & Treves, A. (2019). Non-lethal defense of livestock against predators: flashing lights deter puma attacks in Chile. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.Ohrens, O., Treves, A., & Bonacic, C. (2016). Relationship between rural depopulation and puma-human conflict in the high Andes of Chile. Environmental Conservation, 43(1), 24-33.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Animal Behavior, Animals, Big Cats, Camera Trapping, Carnivores, Cats, Conservation, Conservation Solutions, Ecology, Environment, Grasslands, Human-wildlife Conflict, Hunting, Indigenous Peoples, Livestock, low-tech, Mammals, Mountains, Predators, Research, Technology, Top Predators, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wildtech center_img Article published by John Cannonlast_img read more