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Providing evidence to improve practice

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

Key messages

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A replicated cross-over study in the UK found no differences in reproductive parameters of European turtle doves Streptopelia turtur between years when food was supplied and those when it was not.


Supporting evidence from individual studies


A replicated cross-over study in 1999-2000 in ten mixed agricultural and natural habitat sites in Norfolk and Suffolk, England (Browne & Aebischer 2002), found that European turtle dove Streptopelia turtur reproductive success, territory size or territory density did not differ between years when supplementary food was provided and control (unfed) years (24 nests studied, daily survival rates of 79-97% for fed nests vs. 85-98 for unfed). However, doves were frequently observed eating the food. The authors argue that the experimental sites were too small (mostly 200-400 ha) to affect the wide-ranging doves.


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.