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Providing evidence to improve practice

The journal, Conservation Evidence

Our online journal publishes research, monitoring results and case studies on the effects of conservation interventions. All papers include some monitoring of the effects of the intervention and are written by, or in partnership with, those who did the conservation work. It includes interventions such as habitat creation, habitat restoration, translocations, reintroductions, invasive species control, and education or integrated conservation development programmes, from anywhere around the world.

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A volume is created each year with peer-reviewed papers published throughout the year. We now accept Short Communications as well as standard papers.

Special issues contain new papers on a specific topic.

Virtual collections collate papers published in the journal on specific topics such as management of particular groups of species.

To search for papers on a specific topic within the journal select Advanced search, enter your keyword(s) and within the Source box type: "conservation evidence". This will take you to a list of actions that contain Conservation Evidence papers. In order to see the list of individual Conservation Evidence papers on the topic, please click on 'You can also search Individual Studies' at the top of this page.

Fish management

This virtual collection contains six papers on the management of fish.

A replicated, controlled study in 2011-2012 found that using home-made fish traps reduced the capture of unwanted, small shannies Lipophrys pholis compared to using conventional hand-nets in intertidal habitats.

Placement of fencing around a stream to prevent livestock damage and water flow restoration via removal of a dam allowed riparian and aquatic vegetation recovery (76%) in less than one month. This subsequently allowed the reintroduction of a Critically Endangered frog as well as protection of an Endangered fish species.

A dramatic decline in American eel Anguilla rostrata abundance led to the species being assessed as endangered in Ontario (Canada) and the closure of fisheries. As part of efforts to recover populations, four million eels (glass eels and elvers) were released over a five year period into the upper St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. A large-scale electrofishing survey of eastern Lake Ontario tributaries was undertaken to assess the distribution and survival of the released eels. Four hundred and seventy-six eels were collected from 37 sites along seven watercourses. Eels were well-distributed along five rivers close to the release site. By contrast, distribution along the two largest rivers surveyed was restricted to a few kilometres upstream of Lake Ontario because of multiple impassable dams. The average length of eels caught in these two rivers was 40 mm shorter than eels in other watercourses. Eels were not detected in five smaller and colder creeks further west.


From April 2009 to November 2010, a social marketing campaign was designed and implemented in southwest Madagascar to encourage fishers to give up destructive fishing methods and to improve the awareness and enforcement of local laws (dina). The campaign, which targeted local leaders and fishers, was designed using results from formal and informal social surveys and focused on removing locally perceived barriers to behaviour change. In this paper, we describe the campaign from design to implementation, and evaluate its effects through surveys of 500 fishers and local leaders, and preliminary observational data on dina enforcement and use of destructive fishing techniques. Results after one year showed improved knowledge and positive attitudes about dina among leaders and fishers, moderate increases in the enforcement of dina, and moderate decreases in the use of destructive fishing methods. Our findings demonstrate the power and suitability of social marketing as a tool for fostering sustainable behaviour in traditional fishing communities, when combined with good governance and enforcement strategies.

Rudd Scardinius erythropthalmus introduced to a wetland nature reserve as a potential food source for bitterns Botaurus stellaris, successfully became established within 3 years of release.

Deforestation is one of the major global conservation issues. Solutions are being sought to tackle this ongoing forest loss, including establishment of initiatives to provide new sources of income for local communities that promote the sustainable use of forests in the interest of biodiversity conservation. One such project 'Iwokrama', demonstrates how tropical forests and associated habitats can be sustainably used. In the central Guyana wetlands of the Rupununi, illegal fishing of arapaima Arapaima gigas, had led to a huge reduction in its numbers. Iwokrama responded by initiating the Arapaima Management Plan in 2002. This highlighted the need for another source of local income from fisheries, and a business that undertakes sustainable-harvest of fish for the aquarium trade was developed. Harvesting of a few selected fish species is carried-out by members of the local community who are paid a daily wage. Fishing methods target individual species to avoid incidental by-catch. Four species are primarily caught as they are numerous in the Rupununi and are of high trade value. To ensure ecological and economical sustainability, catch per unit effort is monitored; where this begins to drop for any given species, harvesting is suspended and the population is allowed to recover before harvesting resumes. The project has developed into a self-sustaining business, managed by the community themselves. During 2005, the project reached financial sustainability with current profits of over US$3,000 feeding back into local community initiatives.

To help resolve the conflict between pygmy cormorants Phalacrocorax pygmeus and fish farmers, the birds were scared away from Bet She'an Valley before the breeding season started. The cormorants have subsequently relocated to other, safer breeding sites.