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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Provide supplementary food for wildfowl to increase reproductive success Bird Conservation

Key messages

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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.


Supporting evidence from individual studies


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.


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.