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And Now For Something Completely Different
Posted by: btfc
Date: August 30, 2020 05:53PM
‘ Study confirms that painting eyes on cow butts helps ward off predators’

[arstechnica.com]



‘Cattle herds in the Okavango delta region in Botswana are plagued by attacks by lions and other predators, prompting farmers to retaliate by killing the predators. An alternative nonlethal technique involves painting eyes on the butts of cattle to trick ambush predators like lions into thinking they've been spotted by their intended prey. It's called the "Eye-Cow Project," and a recent paper published in the journal Communications Biology provides some solid empirical evidence for the practice. There are now practical guides for using the "eye-cow" technique available in both English and Setswana, so farmers can try it out for themselves.

Neil Jordan, a conservation biologist at the University of New South Wales in Australia, came up with the idea several years ago while he was doing field work in Botswana. Local farmers killed a pair of lionesses in retaliation for preying on their herds of cattle, and Jordan wanted to come up with a non-lethal alternative. The African lion population has dropped significantly from more than 100,000 in the 1990s to somewhere between 23,000 and 39,000 in 2016—much of it due to retaliation killings.
Jordan knew that butterfly wings sporting eye-like patterns are known to ward off preying birds and are also found in certain fish, mollusks, amphibians and birds, although such patterns had not been observed in mammals. He also discovered that woodcutters in Indian forests have been known to wear masks on the backs of their heads to discourage any tigers hunting for prey. He had observed a lion stalking an impala and noticed the predator gave up the chase when the prey spotted it. Lions are ambush hunters, Jordan reasoned, and he decided to test his "detection hypothesis" that painting eyes on the butts of cows would discourage predatory behavior from the local lion population.
The Botswana Predator Conservation Trust (BPCT) agreed to work with Jordan on the project, along with a local farmer, for a ten-week pilot study. Jordan and the farmer painted eyes on one-third of a herd of 62 cattle and took a head count when the cattle returned to the fold each night to see how many had survived. Only three cows were killed during that period, none of which had painted eyes on their butts. All the painted cows survived.’



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/30/2020 06:03PM by btfc.
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Re: And Now For Something Completely Different
Posted by: jonny
Date: August 30, 2020 06:12PM
'Fraid Babar beat them to it.
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Re: And Now For Something Completely Different
Posted by: Rolando
Date: August 30, 2020 07:03PM
Quote
jonny
'Fraid Babar beat them to it.

I WAS about to to say "This thread is useless without pictures..."



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Re: And Now For Something Completely Different
Posted by: pRICE cUBE
Date: August 30, 2020 07:06PM
This thread has come to an end.



Ways to improve web conference image and sound quality. [forums.macresource.com]


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Re: And Now For Something Completely Different
Posted by: MindMeld
Date: August 30, 2020 07:52PM
Here's lookin' at ya baby!
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Re: And Now For Something Completely Different
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: August 30, 2020 08:06PM
Quote
pRICE cUBE
This thread has come to an end.

It's been trunk-ated?
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Re: And Now For Something Completely Different
Posted by: pRICE cUBE
Date: August 30, 2020 10:44PM
Quote
Steve G.
Quote
pRICE cUBE
This thread has come to an end.

It's been trunk-ated?


Don't get cheeky.



Ways to improve web conference image and sound quality. [forums.macresource.com]


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Re: And Now For Something Completely Different
Posted by: gabester
Date: August 31, 2020 04:31AM
Honestly I think there's something about the eyes on a cow's rear that causes it to resemble an elephant facing a predator approaching from the rear. It's a pretty interesting insight into animal behavior and can't wait to see whether results can be repeated elsewhere and over time. (The lions might just get used to the painted-on eyes in time.)
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