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Providing evidence to improve practice

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

Key messages

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A controlled study in Tibet found that Tibetan eared pheasants Crossoptilon harmani that were fed supplementary food laid significantly larger eggs and clutches than control birds. Nesting success and laying dates were not affected.

 

Supporting evidence from individual studies

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A controlled trial at two scrubland sites near Lhasa, Tibet, during 1996 and 1999-2001 (Lu & Zheng 2003) found that Tibetan eared pheasants Crossoptilon harmani that were fed supplementary food (mainly highland barley provided by Buddhist nuns every day throughout the year) laid significantly larger eggs and had significantly larger clutches than control (unfed) birds, although the differences were small (average of 55 g/egg for 55 eggs from fed birds vs. 53 g/egg for 32 controls; average of 7.7 eggs/clutch for 23 fed birds vs. 7.0 eggs/clutch for 28 controls). Fed birds did not have higher nesting success or lay earlier than controls (fed birds: 96% of 144 eggs fertilised, 94% of these hatched, average first laying date of 6th May for 27 clutches; control birds: 98% of 124 eggs fertilised, 97% of these hatched, average first laying date of 8th March for 35 clutches). No data is provided on fledging success or survival of chicks.

 

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. (2018) Bird Conservation. Pages 95-244 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, N. Ockendon, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2018. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.