Action

Action Synopsis: Bird Conservation About Actions

Plant more than one crop per field (intercropping)

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
    30%
  • Certainty
    36%
  • Harms
    18%

Study locations

Key messages

A study from the USA found that 35 species of bird used fields with intercropping, with four nesting, but that productivity from the fields was very low.

 

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 study on two arable farms in Iowa, USA, in May-August 1992-3 (Stallman & Best 1996), found that 35 bird species used fields under an experimental intercropping system, with an average of 108 birds/count/100 ha. Three native species (red-winged blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus, common grackle Quiscalus quiscula and vesper sparrow Pooecetes gramineus) nested in the fields, but that only one nest of forty (2.5%) successfully fledged young. Destruction by farming activities was the largest cause of nest mortality (39%) followed by predation (29%). Desertion only occurred at 5% of nests. Strips were 4.6 m wide and contained corn, soybeans and oats as well as mammoth red clover Trifolium pratense.

    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

What Works in Conservation

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, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

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