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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Protect nests from ants Bird Conservation

Key messages

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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.


Supporting evidence from individual studies


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.


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.