Action Synopsis: Bird Conservation About Actions

Protect nests from ants

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

Study locations

Key messages

A randomised, replicated and controlled study from the USA found higher fledging success from white-eyed vireo Vireo griseus nests protected from ants with a physical barrier and a chemical repellent, compared to control nests.


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 randomised, replicated and controlled study in March-July 2006-7 in a grassland/oak-juniper woodland mosaic in Texas, USA (Campomizzi et al. 2009) found that 18 white-eyed vireo Vireo griseus nests, protected from red imported fire ants Solenopsis invicta with a physical barrier and a chemical repellent, had significantly higher fledging success than 26 unprotected nests (31% vs. 10%). The same effect was seen in 13 experimental and 14 control black-capped vireo V. atricapilla nests, but this difference (13% vs. 7%) was non-significant. The physical barrier was Tanglefoot – a gum resin that traps crawling insects, applied to the branch >25 cm from each nest; the repellent was Arinix™ spiral wrap – a permethrin releasing plastic wrapped around the branch on top of the Tanglefoot.

    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 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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