Lures and artefacts, which are almost as old as hunting and fishing, are used to elicit a particular behaviour in animals through key signals. The advances in robotics and sensors/actuators technologies opened the way to go from passive decoys to decoys able to fully interact with animals. Of special interest in this context are social species that are characterized by large networks of feedbacks of similar types but that involve various physicochemical vectors. The monitoring, the control and the breeding/farming of such populations often involve changes to the environment including artefacts that can be seen as environmental decoys. In this paper, we take the paradigmatic case of the formation of aggregates in a patchy environment : gregarious individuals having the choice to settle under an arbitrary number of shelters that are artificial agents able to communicate between themselves and to interact with the sheltered individuals through the modification of their abiotic factors such as temperature, light or odour. These systems can be modelled by the same generic models that serve as prediction and management tools. The model analysis allows to identify the behaviour of the artificial agents/shelters optimizing the population management.

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