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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Use ‘mussel socks’ to prevent birds from attacking shellfish Bird Conservation

Key messages

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A randomised, replicated controlled experiment in Canada found that fewer medium-sized mussels were taken from mussel socks with a protective ‘sleeve’, compared to un-sleeved socks. There were no differences for small or large mussels.


Supporting evidence from individual studies


A randomised, replicated controlled experiment in October 2002 in three bays on Prince Edward Island, Canada (Dionne et al. 2006), found that mussel socks with a ‘sleeve’ of a biodegradable cotton-polyester mesh lost fewer medium-sized (20 mm) mussels to greater scaup Aythya marila predation than un-sleeved socks. Losses were similar for small (14 mm) and large (26 mm) mussels, but more small mussels migrated through sleeved socks (thus more vulnerable to predation).


Referenced papers

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. (2019) Bird Conservation. Pages 141-290 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, N. Ockendon, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2019. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.