A Simple and Cost-Effective Method to Prevent Sika Deer Grazing in Forests: Preliminary Results from Kyoto, Japan

This study empirically examined the efficiency of a simple and cost-effective method used to prevent sika deer browsing/grazing in forests. Our method, which is referred to as the zig–zag tape approach (ZTA), is simple and requires no special techniques or prior training. The investigation site was a portion of a private forest in Kyoto, Japan. At the investigation site, we randomly selected 30 partitions inside and 30 partitions outside of the 0.2-ha exclosure. Plant cover ratios of the partitions in the two areas were compared, together with plant height and the number of signs of deer grazing on grasses. Plant cover ratio and height within the exclosure were both significantly higher than those observed outside the exclosure. The relationship between plant height and plant cover ratio is theoretically expected, and our results are consistent with this theoretical expectation. This implies that grazing pressure at the investigation site is stronger outside the exclosure than it is within. Indeed, signs of deer grazing on grasses were only detected outside the exclosure. This study thus empirically demonstrated that the ZTA is an effective method for preventing sika deer browsing/grazing.

Author(s): Yukichika Kawata, Hideki Hatanaka, Hidekazu Mikita

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