Conflict with Brown Bears

As wildlife recovers from natural and anthropogenic pressures, populations increase and behaviours change. In recent years, the level of human-wildlife conflict in the Sanjiangyuan region has been increasing, especially with brown bears. This project sought to trial the viability of solar-powered electric fences as a safeguard against intrusions by bear into herders’ winter homes.

Due to increasing conflict with brown bears, Plateau Perspectives began to work in the field of human-wildlife conflict mitigation in 2009. Around that time, bears began to break into winter homes in search of food and they caused considerable damage to property. On occasion they also have harmed people, and in a couple instances this has been fatal. To reduce such conflict, Plateau Perspectives introduced and trialled solar powered electric fences to protect herders’ winter homes. Over a dozen community members in Duocai, Zhahe and Suojia districts have installed and used these systems – with primarily positive outcomes. Human factors such as a lack of adequate training have caused some malfunction, but overall it is generally accepted that the technology is suitable for the situation and could be beneficially promoted. Nature reserve management authorities equally have further extended the use of the electric fence systems, with expertise and staff time provided by Plateau Perspectives.