Painting eyes on the rumps of livestock can protect them from attacks by lions in landscapes where they coexist, a joint study from UNSW Sydney, Taronga Conservation Society Australia and Botswana Predator Conservation shows.
In a paper published today in the journal Communications Biology, scientists present their method, which they suggest as a more humane alternative to using lethal control, and a more ecologically sound alternative to using fencing to separate livestock from carnivores.
They describe how they painted eyes on the backsides of a select number of cattle in the Okavango delta region in Botswana where livestock rub shoulders with lions, leopards, spotted hyaenas, cheetahs and African wild dogs. They theorised that because predators rely on being undetected by their prey for a successful attack, they could perhaps trick lions into thinking they had lost this advantage and ultimately to give up on the hunt. MORE
Header image: Ben Yexley.