Action Synopsis: Bird Conservation About Actions

Provide supplementary food for wildfowl to increase reproductive success

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

Study locations

Key messages

A small randomised and controlled ex situ study from Canada found faster growth and higher weights for fed greater snow goose Chen caerulescens atlantica chicks than unfed ones, but no differences in mortality rates.


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 small randomised and controlled ex situ study on Bylot Island, Northwest Territories, Canada, in 1991 (Lindholm et al. 1994), found that greater snow goose Chen caerulescens atlantica goslings provided with commercial duck food ab libitum grew faster and heavier than control goslings, which, except in bad weather when they were in danger of starvation, only had access to naturally-occurring food (weight at 40 days of 2,150-2,580 g for 11 fed goslings vs. 1,260-1,880 g for nine controls). In addition, plumage developed earlier in fed (or early-hatched) goslings (ninth primary emerged at 22-26 days old for fed goslings vs. 27 days for early hatched controls and 35 days for late-hatched controls). However, after controlling for hatching date, fed goslings did not have significantly lower mortality than controls.

    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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