Wolf attack prevention
Wolf attacks on sheep become an increasing problem in Slovenia, just like in Scandinavia, France, Italy, Switzerland, Croatia and Austria. Predicting wolf attacks at regional level proves difficult, but once locally started, wolf attacks increase dramatically. However, distributions of wolf attacks are uneven and do not relate to the presence of wolves (wolves may be present, but no sheep are attacked) or wild prey animals (local abundance does not stop wolves from predating sheep).
Sheep in the Triglav region in Slovenia
The inability to predict and properly prevent attacks fuels opposition to protection of large predators such as wolves and bears. Much therefore depends on the development of proper tools to predict and prevent attacks and to educate about how to act to prevent encounters with large predators.
CABWIM and specialists of the Department for Animal Science at the Biotechnical faculty of the university of Ljubljana and Noah school in Slovenia, and Scotland's Rural College have researched wolf attack prevention in relation to the farm practises.
This research has been published and main findings are that night facilities, meshed wiring of the fence and not mixing of flocks are important features related to farms that do not have problems with wolves. Traditionally recommended measures such as electric fencing and guarding dogs proved not effective in wolf attack prevention in the Slovene practise.
Also the presence of donkeys does not prevent wolf attacks
We thank the Dutch province of Limburg
as well as the German foundation Euronatur for supporting the mentioned research.
Our current project aims to humanely deter wolves in a new way. It involves a combination of behavioural, ecological and technological expertise. Wolf attack prevention will need innovative, environmentally friendly approaches to negatively reinforce wolves to recognize sheep as food and as 'something' to run after and bite (causing surplus killing). We will use modern, but affordable sensor technology on solar power to activate deterring equipment as soon as a wolf approaches the sheep.
We look forward to work together with other parties and research departments that are interested in combining behavioural expertise with modern technology in order to improve concepts, enhance effectiveness and work on sustainable and locally accepted co-existence with wolves. Also funds that are interested to financially support our work are welcome to contact us