Action Synopsis: Bird Conservation About Actions

Use environmentally sensitive flood management

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

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 controlled before-and-after study on the river Roding in Essex, England (Raven 1986), found that in 1982 there were more territories and more species of bird on a 3 km stretch of the river that was modified in 1979 to reduce flooding in the area, compared to an adjacent 500 m stretch of river that was channelized in 1974 (52 territories of nine species vs. three territories of two species). The experimental stretch had one bank excavated to create a 0.3 m high shelf (a ‘flood beam’) just above the level of the main channel. This meant that the main channel continued to carry water during dry periods (at a rate of 2 m3/s) but during heavy rains, the beam would carry water as well (at up to 40 m3/s) increasing the width and the flow capacity of the river.

    Study and other actions tested
  2. A replicated site comparison trial in 1993-2003 on ten sites along the Sacramento River, California, USA (Gardali et al. 2006), found that 13 of 20 bird species were increasing on plots where both riparian vegetation and the river’s hydrological dynamics were restored. This study is discussed in detail in ‘Habitat restoration and creation’.

    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

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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