Action Synopsis: Bird Conservation About Actions

Relocate nestlings to reduce poaching

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
  • Certainty
  • Harms

Key messages

A replicated before-and-after study in Venezuela found significant decreases in poaching rate and increased fledging rates of parrots after wild chicks were moved into police premises each night.


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 before-and-after study in 2008-2009 (part of a longer study from 2000-2009) in 15 monitored yellow-shouldered parrot Amazona barbadensis nests in tropical forest habitat on Margarita Island, Venezuela (Briceño-Linares et al. 2011) found that moving nestlings into municipal police premises overnight significantly decreased poaching rates. In 2008, the municipal police received the birds nightly during the breeding season, which brought poaching rates down from 60% at the end of 2007 to 16% in 2008 and 1% in 2009 (with the help of the National Guard). The Macanao municipal police helped with surveillance in the field and escorted the fledglings every night to police headquarters instead of the local field base. In 2009, birds were taken nightly to the National Guard headquarters. Overall, the fledging rate doubled while the poaching rate was halved from 2000-2009 compared to pre-intervention period of 1990-1999 (3.8 and 1.6 birds / nest; 25% and 49% respectively). This study is also discussed in ‘Use education programmes and local engagement to help reduce pressures on species’, ‘Provide artificial nesting sites’, ‘Employ locals as biomonitors’ and ‘Foster eggs or chicks with wild conspecifics’.

    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?

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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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