British biologist, received the award for hives, scaring elephants

Dr Lucy King of Oxford University won a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for the idea of ​​the use of beehives to deter elephants from farms in Africa, said the international organization.

Elephants in Africa often come to the farm area and cause significant damage to farmers. Such conflicts threaten the loss of both people and elephants, are included in the international list of animals (Red List), endangered.

"I congratulate Dr. King on receiving this prestigious award. Her study shows how to work with nature rather than fight against it"- Said the Deputy Secretary General of UNEP Achim Steiner at a ceremony in Bergen, Norway, where these days passes UN conference on wildlife conservation.

King (Lucy E. King) studied the relationship between elephants and African savannah "tiny honeybees". It turned out that elephants are afraid of bees and do not come close to Acacia on which the hives. Moreover, if one elephant attack bee, he always remembers where it happened.

British biologist, received the award for hives, scaring elephants

"In the experiment, the elephants escaped from the recording sound swarm of bees, and, in addition, with the help of a low-frequency signal to warn the others of impending danger elephants"- Said in a statement.

Based on his observations, King suggested using beehives as a means to deter elephants.

Within two years the unit was tested on 34 farms in Kenya, half of which is surrounded by traditional barriers of thorn bushes. Other plots fenced hives hung at a distance of 10 meters from each other. Trying to pass an elephant touched the wire and disturbed bees are buzzing their forced him to change the route and circumvent the farm.

"During testing, the protection of hives, the researchers recorded 90 attempts of elephants to pass through the territory of farms, but only in six cases were reported attempts to get to the elephant farm, walled beehives"- According to an environmental organization.

Besides the protective function, perform and economic hives: honey production is one of the most common local employment.

The award was established in conjunction with the UNEP Convention on the Conservation of Migratory views of wild animals (CMS) and is awarded once every three years for research on the biology of migratory species. The award amounts to 10 thousand euros.

A source:

November 23, 2011 at 12:32

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