Submitted to: Annual Conference of the Quivira Coalition Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: December 2, 2004
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Melding time-tested animal husbandary practices with cutting-edge technological advances and scientific breakthroughs coming from the disciplines of range, animal, and ethological sciences provides an exciting platform from which to address free-ranging animal control in the 21st century. Decades of agricultural research have consistently revealed that flexibility is the first key in the proper management of complex biological systems. However, some tools that are available in rangeland management thwart flexibility, and conventional fencing can sometimes fit into this category. Where legal as well as health and safety issues are of paramount concern in controlling animals, conventional fences are the tool of choice and will remain so well into the foreseeable future. However, where adaptive management is the goal, new tools such as Directional Virtual Fencing (DVF-TM) will provide flexible animal control within a sound ecological framework. This methodology capitalizes on using animal behavior to attain spatial and temporal management goals focused on optimizing both plant and animal productivity. Workshop participants will learn what DVFTM is and how it differs from conventional methods of controlling free-ranging animals with particular emphasis on when, where, and by whom DVFTM should be used when it becomes commercially available. Results from previous and ongoing studies in which Virtual Boundaries (VB-TM) are being used to control animal groups will be discussed. A final focus will be to highlight researchable areas that currently remain unanswered concerning virtual animal control. The goal of this workshop is to expand our view of foraging from not only a process but to a potentially useful tool for carrying out rangeland remediation.