Action Synopsis: Bird Conservation About Actions

Control mammalian predators on islands for pigeons

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
    not assessed
  • Certainty
    not assessed
  • Harms
    not assessed

Key messages

Two before-and-after trials on Mauritius found that fewer pink pigeon Columba mayeri nests were predated and more chicks were fledged following systematic and intensive rat control.


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 trial in ‘Pigeon Wood’ (mixed forests), Black River Gorges National Park, Mauritius in 1989-91 (Jones et al. 1992) found that fewer pink pigeon Nesoenas mayeri (formerly Columba mayeri) nest were predated by rats Rattus spp. in 1992 (12% of eight nests predated), compared to in 1989-90 (32% of 22 nests predated, following the initiation of systematic rat control (using brodifacoum bait stations). This study is also discussed in ‘Provide supplementary food to increase adult survival’, ‘Use captive breeding to increase or maintain populations’, ‘Release captive bred individuals’ and ‘Provide supplementary food after release’ and ‘Predator control on islands’.

    Study and other actions tested
  2. A before-and-after trial in Brise Fer, Mauritius (Tatayah et al. 2007) found that four pink pigeon Nesoenas mayeri (formerly Columba mayeri) chicks fledged in 2006, during the trialling of a new ‘hockey stick’ bait station to control rats Rattus spp., compared to no successful fledgings in 2005 and ‘few to no chicks’ in the previous few years.

    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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