Biography

I am a senior researcher at the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, with a PhD on farm animal ethology from the The Norwegian University of Agriculture. I have long-standing experience leading user-involved projects within the issue of livestock-carnivore conflicts at a national and Nordic level. My research also covers the topic of farm animal behaviour and welfare.

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Abstract

We investigated the impact of Norway’s current zonal carnivore management system for four large carnivore species on sheep farming. Sheep losses increased when the large carnivores were reintroduced, but has declined again after the introduction of the zoning management system. The total number of sheep increased outside, but declined slightly inside the management zones. The total sheep production increased, but sheep farming was still lost as a source of income for many farmers. The use of the grazing resources became more extensive. Losses decreased because sheep were removed from the open outfield pastures and many farmers gave up sheep farming. While wolves expel sheep farming from the outfield grazing areas, small herds can still be kept in fenced enclosures. Bears are in every respect incompatible with sheep farming. Farmers adjust to the seasonal and more predictable behavior of lynx and wolverine, although these species also may cause serious losses when present. The mitigating efforts are costly and lead to reduced animal welfare and lower income for the farmers, although farmers in peri-urban areas increasingly are keeping sheep as an avocation. There is a spillover effect of the zoning strategy in the sense that there is substantial loss of livestock to carnivores outside, but geographically near the management zones. The carnivore management policy used in Norway is a reasonably successful management strategy when the goal is to separate livestock from carnivores and decrease the losses, but the burdens are unequally distributed and farmers inside the management zones are at an economic disadvantage.

To document

Abstract

Increasing populations of large carnivores are leading to tension and conflicts with livestock production, a situation that potentially might escalate. In Norway the objective of the large carnivore policy is two-folded: to ensure viable carnivore populations and to secure a sustainable grazing industry. The main instrument is zonation, with carnivore management zones (CMZs) prioritized for reproduction of the large carnivore species separated from other areas prioritized for grazing livestock. The objective of this paper is to describe current knowledge about the impact of the zoning management strategy on the grazing industry. This is done by documenting status and changes in sheep production, losses of livestock to predating carnivores, and the use of grazing areas inside and outside the CMZs. CMZs offering protection for lynx, wolverine, bear and wolf cover 55% of the Norwegian mainland. 30% of the sheep and 50% of the Sami reindeer grazing areas are found inside the CMZs. Livestock (semi-domestic reindeer excluded) is using 59% of the available natural pasture areas outside the CMZs, but only 26% inside the CMZs. The lowest use of available grazing areas was found inside zones for wolves (12%) and brown bears (6%). Livestock in these zones are confined to fenced enclosures, mostly on the farm itself, or moved to pastures outside the management zone for summer grazing. Livestock losses increased in the affected regions during the period when carnivores were reestablished. Later, losses declined when CMZs were established and mitigation efforts were implemented in these zones. The bulk of sheep and reindeer killed by carnivores are now found in boundary areas within 50 km off the CMZs, where sheep are still grazing on open mountain and forest ranges. Therefore, instruments to protect livestock in areas close to the CMZs are also needed. The number of sheep declined inside the CMZs from 1999 to 2014, but increased outside the zones. The reduction in the absolute number of sheep in the CMZs is balanced by a similar increase outside, thus the total sheep production in Norway is maintained. We conclude that although of little consequence for the total food production in Norway, the economic and social impact of the large carnivore management strategy can be serious for local communities and individual farmers who are affected. There is a need for more exact carnivore population monitoring to quantify the carnivore pressure, better documentation of reindeer losses, and a clearer and stricter practicing of the zoning strategy. Increased involvement of social sciences is important in order to understand the human dimension of the carnivore conflicts.

Abstract

Several non-invasive methods for assessing stress responses have been developed and validated for many animal species. Due to species-specific differences in metabolism and excretion of stress hormones, methods should be validated for each species. The aim of this study was to conduct a physiological validation of an 11-oxoaetiocholanolone enzyme immunoassay (EIA) for measuring faecal cortisol metabolites (FCMs) in male reindeer by administration of adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH; intramuscular, 0.25 mg per animal). A total of 317 samples were collected from eight male reindeer over a 44 h period at Tverrvatnet in Norway in mid-winter. In addition, 114 samples were collected from a group of reindeer during normal handling and calf marking at Stjernevatn in Norway. Following ACTH injection, FCM levels (median and range) were 568 (268–2415) ng/g after two hours, 2718 (414–8550) ng/g after seven hours and 918 (500–6931) ng/g after 24 h. Levels were significantly higher from seven hours onwards compared to earlier hours (p < 0.001). The FCM levels at Stjernevatn were significantly (p < 0.001) different before (samples collected zero to two hours; median: 479 ng/g) and after calf marking (eight to ten hours; median: 1469 ng/g). Identification of the faecal samples belonging to individual animals was conducted using DNA analysis across time. This study reports a successful validation of a non-invasive technique for measuring stress in reindeer, which can be applied in future studies in the fields of biology, ethology, ecology, animal conservation and welfare.

Abstract

This literature review documents behavioural differences in organic and conventional sheep and goats in Norway. Increased indoor space results in increased lying time, more synchronized lying behaviour, less displacements and higher milk yield in sheep, and increased lying time and lower frequency of agonistic behaviour in goats. Sheep and goats spend 45-50 % of their time outdoors when given access to an outdoor yard during winter. Under normal thermal conditions, fully fleeced sheep do not need solid floors of welfare reasons in Norway. Neither do dairy goats in insulated buildings. The significance of different milk feeding strategies in goat kids is poorly documented, but studies on lambs and calves show that suckling increases the growth rate, gives better social competence and more exploratory behaviour. Thus, the organic regulations in Norwegian sheep and goat production have some positive impact on behavioural indicators of sheep and goat welfare, especially during winter housing.

Abstract

When free-ranging animals encounter traffic on roads or railways, it may have fatal outcome. In Europe, collisions between vehicles and animals have increased the last 40 years, causing eco-nomic losses and serious welfare concerns. Today there is no technological solution to prevent such collisions in the rough, arctic climate that represents most parts of Norway. By using small and energy-efficient radio transmitters moulded into headcollars, researchers have now devel-oped and tested a system for warning traffic when semi-domestic reindeer are nearby the road. Tests on more than 700 reindeer over three consecutive winter seasons are promising.

To document

Abstract

We investigated the impact of Norway’s current zonal carnivore management system for four large carnivore species on sheep farming. Sheep losses increased when the large carnivores were reintroduced, but has declined again after the introduction of the zoning management system. The total number of sheep increased outside, but declined slightly inside the management zones. The total sheep production increased, but sheep farming was still lost as a source of income for many farmers. The use of the grazing resources became more extensive. Losses decreased because sheep were removed from the open outfield pastures and many farmers gave up sheep farming. While wolves expel sheep farming from the outfield grazing areas, small herds can still be kept in fenced enclosures. Bears are in every respect incompatible with sheep farming. Farmers adjust to the seasonal and more predictable behavior of lynx and wolverine, although these species also may cause serious losses when present. The mitigating efforts are costly and lead to reduced animal welfare and lower income for the farmers, although farmers in peri-urban areas increasingly are keeping sheep as an avocation. There is a spillover effect of the zoning strategy in the sense that there is substantial loss of livestock to carnivores outside, but geographically near the management zones. The carnivore management policy used in Norway is a reasonably successful management strategy when the goal is to separate livestock from carnivores and decrease the losses, but the burdens are unequally distributed and farmers inside the management zones are at an economic disadvantage.

To document

Abstract

Increasing populations of large carnivores are leading to tension and conflicts with livestock production, a situation that potentially might escalate. In Norway the objective of the large carnivore policy is two-folded: to ensure viable carnivore populations and to secure a sustainable grazing industry. The main instrument is zonation, with carnivore management zones (CMZs) prioritized for reproduction of the large carnivore species separated from other areas prioritized for grazing livestock. The objective of this paper is to describe current knowledge about the impact of the zoning management strategy on the grazing industry. This is done by documenting status and changes in sheep production, losses of livestock to predating carnivores, and the use of grazing areas inside and outside the CMZs. CMZs offering protection for lynx, wolverine, bear and wolf cover 55% of the Norwegian mainland. 30% of the sheep and 50% of the Sami reindeer grazing areas are found inside the CMZs. Livestock (semi-domestic reindeer excluded) is using 59% of the available natural pasture areas outside the CMZs, but only 26% inside the CMZs. The lowest use of available grazing areas was found inside zones for wolves (12%) and brown bears (6%). Livestock in these zones are confined to fenced enclosures, mostly on the farm itself, or moved to pastures outside the management zone for summer grazing. Livestock losses increased in the affected regions during the period when carnivores were reestablished. Later, losses declined when CMZs were established and mitigation efforts were implemented in these zones. The bulk of sheep and reindeer killed by carnivores are now found in boundary areas within 50 km off the CMZs, where sheep are still grazing on open mountain and forest ranges. Therefore, instruments to protect livestock in areas close to the CMZs are also needed. The number of sheep declined inside the CMZs from 1999 to 2014, but increased outside the zones. The reduction in the absolute number of sheep in the CMZs is balanced by a similar increase outside, thus the total sheep production in Norway is maintained. We conclude that although of little consequence for the total food production in Norway, the economic and social impact of the large carnivore management strategy can be serious for local communities and individual farmers who are affected. There is a need for more exact carnivore population monitoring to quantify the carnivore pressure, better documentation of reindeer losses, and a clearer and stricter practicing of the zoning strategy. Increased involvement of social sciences is important in order to understand the human dimension of the carnivore conflicts.

Abstract

Several non-invasive methods for assessing stress responses have been developed and validated for many animal species. Due to species-specific differences in metabolism and excretion of stress hormones, methods should be validated for each species. The aim of this study was to conduct a physiological validation of an 11-oxoaetiocholanolone enzyme immunoassay (EIA) for measuring faecal cortisol metabolites (FCMs) in male reindeer by administration of adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH; intramuscular, 0.25 mg per animal). A total of 317 samples were collected from eight male reindeer over a 44 h period at Tverrvatnet in Norway in mid-winter. In addition, 114 samples were collected from a group of reindeer during normal handling and calf marking at Stjernevatn in Norway. Following ACTH injection, FCM levels (median and range) were 568 (268–2415) ng/g after two hours, 2718 (414–8550) ng/g after seven hours and 918 (500–6931) ng/g after 24 h. Levels were significantly higher from seven hours onwards compared to earlier hours (p < 0.001). The FCM levels at Stjernevatn were significantly (p < 0.001) different before (samples collected zero to two hours; median: 479 ng/g) and after calf marking (eight to ten hours; median: 1469 ng/g). Identification of the faecal samples belonging to individual animals was conducted using DNA analysis across time. This study reports a successful validation of a non-invasive technique for measuring stress in reindeer, which can be applied in future studies in the fields of biology, ethology, ecology, animal conservation and welfare.

Abstract

This literature review documents behavioural differences in organic and conventional sheep and goats in Norway. Increased indoor space results in increased lying time, more synchronized lying behaviour, less displacements and higher milk yield in sheep, and increased lying time and lower frequency of agonistic behaviour in goats. Sheep and goats spend 45-50 % of their time outdoors when given access to an outdoor yard during winter. Under normal thermal conditions, fully fleeced sheep do not need solid floors of welfare reasons in Norway. Neither do dairy goats in insulated buildings. The significance of different milk feeding strategies in goat kids is poorly documented, but studies on lambs and calves show that suckling increases the growth rate, gives better social competence and more exploratory behaviour. Thus, the organic regulations in Norwegian sheep and goat production have some positive impact on behavioural indicators of sheep and goat welfare, especially during winter housing.

Abstract

In this study, a technique based on wireless sensor networks (WSN) for matching mother reindeer to their calves in order to identify the ownership of the calves is presented. This task is currently performed using manual techniques which are stressful on the animals and herders alike. Various potential WSN technologies are considered. RFID technology was given greater interest as it is widely used in animal identification. A method based on Wi-Fi enabled active RFID tags is proposed in this work. This technique entails the temporary attachment of Wi-Fi enabled RFID tags to the necks of the calf and mother reindeers and to monitor the location of those tags using the Wi-Fi network. A detailed discussion of localization algorithms to monitor the location of the tags and to determine the correlation between any pairs of tags which indicate mother and her calf is presented. This work aims to pave the way for the use of wireless sensor networks for the purpose of matching mother reindeer to their calves and for other matching purposes in animal welfare and industry.

Abstract

In this study, a technique based on wireless sensor networks (WSN) for matching mother reindeer to their calves in order to identify the ownership of the calves is presented. This task is currently performed using manual techniques which are stressful on the animals and herders alike. Various potential WSN technologies are considered. RFID technology was given greater interest as it is widely used in animal identification. A method based on Wi-Fi enabled active RFID tags is proposed in this work. This technique entails the temporary attachment of Wi-Fi enabled RFID tags to the necks of the calf and mother reindeers and to monitor the location of those tags using the Wi-Fi network. A detailed discussion of localization algorithms to monitor the location of the tags and to determine the correlation between any pairs of tags which indicate mother and her calf is presented. This work aims to pave the way for the use of wireless sensor networks for the purpose of matching mother reindeer to their calves and for other matching purposes in animal welfare and industry.

Abstract

The frequency with which ewe lambs lay on wooden surfaces at two levels, called ``double bunks,"" was documented by video recording at 6, 11 and 18 months of age: the number in each of 4 pens (n = 4) lying either on double bunks (DBs) or on the expanded metal floor (EMF) was recorded. At 6 months, lambs were sheared half way through the research period and DBs of two different heights (50/60 cm) and depths (60/75 cm) were tested. At other ages the lambs were sheared before testing and all DBs were the 60 cm 60 cm design. Fully fleeced lambs aged 6 months preferred to lie on EMF rather than DB (P < 0.001). After shearing, the use of EMF for resting declined (P < 0.05) and no significant preference between EMF and DB was found. The lambs tended to lie less when newly sheared (P = 0.06). At 11 months, sheared lambs used DB just as much as EMF, whereas 18 month old sheared ewe lambs tended to choose DB to lie on (P = 0.09). At 6 months, there was a tendency for more lambs to rest at ground level in the DB when headroom was higher at 60 cm (P = 0.1). No other preferences between DB designs were found. The results are discussed according to the regulations for organic sheep farming in Norway. The lambs showed little preference for resting on a DB compared to EMF, so there is insufficient evidence to recommend a two-level, wooden lying area for sheep.

Abstract

Patrolling with livestock guard dogs in mountain rangelands in Norway was evaluated as a method to prevent predation in areas with widely dispersed sheep. In contrast to the traditional use of guard dogs, patrol dogs are closer socially bonded to people and follow a range inspector around. Range inspection was performed in 5 h bouts during three nights per week. The method was tested during three summer seasons in a total of eight sheep flocks grazing in three different mountain ranges. In total, three inspectors and four dogs were involved. Significant reductions in the number of sheep lost were achieved in one of the study areas. Lack of significance in the other areas were mainly due to the size of the area and qualities of the dogs: the range to be patrolled by one man/dog unit should not exceeed 10-12 km2, and the dogs should be experienced guard dogs, which are properly socialized for this method.