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

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
  • Certainty
  • Harms

Study locations

Key messages

  • One study evaluated the effects of keeping livestock in enclosures to reduce predation by mammals to reduce human-wildlife conflict. This study was in Portugal.





  • Human-wildlife conflict (1 study): A replicated study in Portugal found fewer wolf attacks on cattle on farms where cattle were confined for at least some of the time compared to those with free-ranging cattle.

About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. 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).

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Littlewood, N.A., Rocha, R., Smith, R.K., Martin, P.A., Lockhart, S.L., Schoonover, R.F., Wilman, E., Bladon, A.J., Sainsbury, K.A., Pimm S. and Sutherland, W.J. (2020) Terrestrial Mammal Conservation: Global Evidence for the Effects of Interventions for terrestrial mammals excluding bats and primates. Synopses of Conservation Evidence Series. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

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Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

Terrestrial Mammal Conservation - Published 2020

Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

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