Restoring ecosystems with fear
Fear of predators keeps prey under control
In new work, Dr. Liana Zanette, a biologist from Western University in London, Ontario, has tested whether or not it is possible that just the fear of these predators - rather than the presence of the predators themselves - could be used to control overpopulated wildlife.
In an attempt to drive raccoons off beaches in the Gulf Islands, where they were ravaging the intertidal ecosystem, she and her colleagues used the sounds of barking dogs. The raccoons either ran, or reduced their foraging because of increased wariness, which allowed the intertidal animals to recover.