Action Synopsis: Bird Conservation About Actions

Use repellents on baits for predator control

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
  • Certainty
  • Harms
    not assessed

Study locations

Key messages

About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A replicated, randomised and controlled, ex situ experiment (Nicholls 2000) found that on three of four test days, 33 captive American kestrels Falco sparverius were no less likely to choose to consume chicks with feeding repellent (dead day-old chicks treated with either methyl anthanilate or aminoacetophenone) compared to untreated chicks. Kestrels fed on treated chicks consumed less over the study (with fewer methyl anthanilate-treated chicks consumed), but not to the point of losing body condition (body weights were similar across treatments). Treating chicks with repellents did not affect consumption in comparison to dyeing them blue or green (see ‘Use coloured baits to reduce accidental mortality during predator control’). This study is also discussed in ‘Use aversive conditioning to reduce nest predation’.

    Study and other actions tested
  2. A replicated, randomised and controlled experiment on Tiritiri Matangi Island, North Island, New Zealand in June 2000 (Day et al. 2003) found that wild North Island robins Petroica australis longipes pecked significantly less at dough baits treated  with (either sprayed with or dipped in) a combination of green dye, pulegone and Avex™ (two avian repellents) than at control baits containing green dye and cinnamon. In addition, rate of pecking at treated baits declined over time (sprayed baits:  5 pecks on first day, 4 on second day, 2 on third day vs. 9.5, 10 and 9.5 pecks for control baits, n = 17 birds; dipped baits: 1.5 pecks on first day, 0.5 pecks on second, 0.25 on third, zero pecks on fourth vs. 6, 5, 3 and 3.25 for control baits, n = 21 birds).

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Williams, D.R., Child, M.F., Dicks, L.V., Ockendon, N., Pople, R.G., Showler, D.A., Walsh, J.C., zu Ermgassen, E.K.H.J. & Sutherland, W.J. (2020) Bird Conservation. Pages 137-281 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2020. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.


Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

All the journals searched for all synopses

Bird Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Bird Conservation
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What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

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