A conditioned aversion pilot project to reduce wolf attacks on livestock starts in Guadalajara

    IREC researchers, in collaboration with the Guadalajara Provincial Association of Farmers and Ranchers, have started an innovative pilot project to test the application of conditioned aversion as a measure to reduce damage caused by wolf attacks on cattle in Castilla-La Mancha.

    With the title "Application of innovative tools to reduce the damage caused by wolves in livestock in Castilla-La Mancha”, the main objective of this pilot project, launched with the collaboration of the Guadalajara Provincial Association of Farmers and Ranchers (APAG), is to develop tools that can be used in the generation of conditioned aversion to reduce predation by wolves and the development of field strategies to achieve this deterrent effect.

    The project is led by Dr. Rafael Mateo, from the Research Group in Wildlife Toxicology, and Dr. Pablo Ferreras, from Research Group in Game Resources and Wildlife Management of the Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos (IREC – CSIC, UCLM, JCCM), in collaboration with researchers from the University of Córdoba.


    First coordination meeting of the operational group.

    Within the framework of this project, on December 22 took place the first meeting of the IREC-APAG operational group, at the APAG headquarters in Guadalajara, to plan the tasks to be carried out during the 2-year duration of the project in order to achieve the proposed objectives.

    The first tasks of the project included the holding informational meetings with ranchers in areas affected by wolf damage to livestock in the province of Guadalajara. Specifically, on January 31, 2023, a meeting was held in Cantalojas de la Sierra, and on February 1 in Cardoso de la Sierra, where farmers from these municipalities and others nearby were informed about the objectives of the project.


    Informative meeting with farmers from the Cantalojas area, Guadalajara.

    The project has had an excellent reception by farmers, whose collaboration is essential to achieve the objectives and to have new tools to reduce wolf damage to livestock and thus facilitate the coexistence between this activity and wolf conservation.


    Informative meeting with farmers from the Cardoso area, Guadalajara.

    During the meetings, a informative diptych to publicize what conditioned aversion consists of and how the project proposes its experimental application to reduce attacks on livestock.

    Cover of the informative leaflet on the innovative pilot project [DOWNLOAD THE DIPTYCH in PDF].

    The project "Application of innovative tools to reduce the damage caused by wolves in livestock in Castilla-La Mancha” is financed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Rural Development of the Junta de Comunidades de Castilla-La Mancha and co-financed with FEADER funds through aid for innovative cooperation through the creation of operational innovation groups and the carrying out of innovative pilot projects in agricultural and livestock primary production (Order 203/2020).