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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Control predators not on islands Bird Conservation

Key messages

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A single replicated and randomised, paired sites study from the UK found that plots with predator control had increased density and fledgling success of breeding birds.


Supporting evidence from individual studies


A replicated, randomised, paired site study from March-July in 2000-2008 in 2 pairs of plots (9.3-14.4 km2) in Northumberland, UK (Fletcher et al. 2010) found that plots where predators were experimentally controlled displayed increased density and fledgling success of breeding birds. Reductions in foxes Vulpes vulpes and carrion crows Corvus corone led to an average threefold increase in the percentage of pairs fledging young of lapwing Vanellus vanellus, golden plover Pluvialis apricaria, curlew Numenius arquata, red grouse Lagopus lagopus scoticus and meadow pipit Anthus pratensis; and subsequently led to increases in breeding numbers (? 14%/year) of lapwing, curlew, golden plover and red grouse, all of which declined in the absence of predator control (? 17%/year). There was no significant effect of predator culling for any wader species. Predator culling reduced the abundance of fox by 43% and crow 78%.


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.