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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effect of buffer strip width on passerine nest survival in coastal old-growth forest on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska, USA

Published source details

Sperry D.M., Kissling M. & George T.L. (2008) Avian nest survival in coastal forested buffer strips on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska. The Condor, 110, 740-746


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Provide or retain un-harvested buffer strips Bird Conservation

A replicated study in 2003-4 in old-growth forest on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska, USA (Sperry et al. 2008), there were no significant differences in average clutch size or number of young fledged across six species between nests in narrow (<250 m) buffers at four sites, compared to wide (>350 m) buffers at three sites. The buffers surrounded areas of 8-18 ha of forest and 76 nests of six species (Pacific-slope flycatcher Empidonax difficilis, chestnut-backed chickadee Poecile rufescens, winter wren Troglodytes troglodytes, Swainson’s thrush Catharus ustulatus, hermit thrush C. guttatus and varied thrush Ixoreus naevius) were monitored. Of the 25 (18%) of nests that did not fledge young, 23 failed due to predation. Daily survival rates were slightly higher (0.2 to 2.5%) in wide buffers.