Action Synopsis: Bird Conservation About Actions

Provide artificial nesting sites for ibises and flamingos

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
  • Certainty
  • Harms

Study locations

Key messages

  • A study in Turkey found that northern bald ibises Geronticus eremite moved to a site with artificial breeding ledges.
  • A before-and-after study from France and Spain found that large numbers of greater flamingos Phoenicopterus roseus used artificial nesting islands.


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 study in southeast Turkey in 1977-88 (Akçakaya 1990) found that a northern bald ibis Geronticus eremite population moved from a breeding site threatened by development to an artificial breeding site provided 3 km away within an artificial breeding station (discussed in ‘Use captive breeding to increase or maintain populations’) and consisting of wooden ledges approximately 20 m away from where captive birds were. This study is also described in ‘Release captive-bred individuals’.

    Study and other actions tested
  2. A before-and-after study reviewing management at two coastal wetland sites in Bouches-du-Rhône, France and in Andalusia, Spain (Martos & Johnson 1996), found that large numbers of greater flamingos Phoenicopterus roseus used artificial nesting islands that were created at the sites. At the site in France, over 12,000 pairs used the island in one year, with 94,000 chicks raised between 1974 and 1993. At least 2,300 pairs used the nesting site in Spain. Islands were created from mud and later reinforced with stones and sand to reduce erosion. Decoy nests were placed on the islands (see ‘Use decoys to attract birds to safe areas’ for details) and 5-10% of the 700 which were erected in France in 1973-4 were used as nests in 1974. This study is also described in ‘Manage water levels in wetlands’ and ‘Control predators not on islands’.

    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

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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