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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Control mammalian predators on islands for pigeons Bird Conservation

Key messages

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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.


Supporting evidence from individual studies


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’.



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.


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.