Conservation Evidence strives to be as useful to conservationists as possible. Please take our survey to help the team improve our resource.

Providing evidence to improve practice

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

Key messages

Read our guidance on Key messages before continuing

A study from China found that breeding success of crested ibis Nipponia nippon was correlated with the amount of supplementary food provided, although no comparison was made with unfed nests.


Supporting evidence from individual studies


A study between 1982 and 2004 in Shaanxi Province, central China (Yu et al. 2006) found that the breeding success (the percentage of eggs laid fledging chicks) of crested ibis Nipponia nippon pairs was correlated with the weight of supplementary food (mainly loach Misgurnus anguillicaudatus) provided to supplemented nests in the breeding season. Foraging success, number of eggs and number of young fledged were ‘markedly higher’ when supplementary food was provided. The weight of food provided ranged from 167-553 kg annually for each nest, with between one and six nests supplied each year. The study does not report the relative breeding success of supplied and unsupplied nests.


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.