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Research article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

No benefit in using rubber-coated wire to counter loss of voltage due to tall grass in large carnivore deterring fences

Hedmark, Eva; Palacios, Carlos Cardoso; Frank, Jens

Abstract

Electric wire enclosures to protect livestock represent one intervention to mitigate negative impacts of large carnivores. However, appropriate fence construction and voltage level in the live wires are crucial to deter carnivores. To ensure that the voltage level remains sufficiently high, maintenances and clearing the wires from tall or growing vegetation is regularly needed. In this study, we investigate the performance of a fence wire coated with conductive rubber, claimed by the supplier not to short circuit and drop in voltage due to contact with e.g. ground and vegetation. We examine the voltage of the rubber-coated wire during contact with soil, ground, and wet vegetation and observed a voltage loss comparable to that of the standard metal fence wire. Our results imply that the rubber-coated wire does not perform better than a conventional metal fence wire when in contact with growing grass and other elements that usually short circuit an electric fence.

Keywords

electric fence; carnivore deterring fences; rubber-coated wire

Published in

Wildlife Biology
2024, Publisher: WILEY