Action Synopsis: Bird Conservation About Actions

Restore or create kelp forests

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

Study locations

Key messages

A before-and-study in the USA found that the densities of five of the nine bird species analysed increased following kelp forest restoration.


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 before-and-after study between 1969-1973 and 1984-1986 on a rocky shoreline in southern California, USA (Bradley & Bradley 1993), found that shorebirds were significantly more numerous after kelp Macrocystis pyrifera forest restoration. Among nine species of shorebird analysed, the density of five (spotted sandpiper Actitus macularia, wandering tattler Heteroscelus incanus, whimbrel Numenius phaeopus, black turnstone Arenaria melanocephala and ruddy turnstone Arenaria interpres) increased. Territorial species (spotted sandpiper, wandering tattler and whimbrel) were twice as abundant in the second census. Species that do not forage in algal windthrow, such as the black-bellied plover Pluvialis squatarola, remained stable over the two census periods. Complete counts of all shorebirds encountered along a 4 km census route were recorded year-round over the years of the two censuses.

    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

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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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