Action: Use of unpalatable buffer crops
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
- We found no evidence for the effects of using unpalatable buffer crops to prevent primates from entering agricultural areas on primate populations.
'No evidence' for an action means we have not yet found any studies that directly and quantitatively tested this action during our systematic journal and report searches. Therefore we have been unable to assess whether or not the action is effective or has any harmful impacts. Please get in touch if you know of such a study for this action.
Crops that are unpalatable to primates can be planted as buffer crops to prevent crop raiding incidents in adjacent areas with more palatable crops. Buffer crops usually constitute plants that are high in fibre and secondary compounds such as tea, timber, or sisal (Chiyo et al. 2005, Hockings & Humle 2009), or chilli. However, if not managed well, the buffer crop may attract primates. The use of buffer zones in which habitat was destroyed to make them unusable for primate species and therefore deter primates from these areas is discussed under ‘Destroy habitat inside buffer zones to make them unusable for primate species’.
Chiyo P.I., Cochrane E.P., Naughton L. & Basuta G.I. (2005) Temporal patterns of crop raiding by elephants: a response to changes in forage quality or crop availability? African Journal of Ecology, 43, 48–55.
Hockings K.J. & Humle T. (2009) Best practice guidelines for the prevention and mitigation of conflict between humans and great apes. Report by the IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group (PSG).