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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effects of provision of supplementary water on breeding success of northern bald ibis Geronticus eremita in Parc National de Souss Massa, Souss-Massa-Draâ, Morocco

Published source details

Smith K.W., Aghnaj A., El Bekkay M., Oubrou W., Ribi M., Jimenez Armesto M. & Bowden C.G.R. (2008) The provision of supplementary fresh water improves the breeding success of the globally threatened northern bald ibis Geronticus eremita. Ibis, 150, 728-734


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Provide supplementary water to increase survival or reproductive success Bird Conservation

A controlled, multi-year study between 1998 and 2002 in coastal semi-desert steppe in southern Morocco (Smith et al. 2008) found that northern bald ibis Geronticus eremite pairs nesting less than 1 km from supplementary water points had significantly higher reproductive success than pairs nesting more than 5 km from water points (all nests: 1.0-2.2 fledglings/nest for nests close to water vs. 0.37-1.6 fledglings/nest for distant nests; only successful nests: 1.3-2.4 fledglings/nest vs. 1.0-2.3 fledglings/nest). There were no differences in clutch size between treatments, so the authors suggest that differences in productivity were due to failure rates, with 11% of 105 nests close to water failing, compared to 38% of 74 nests far from water. The increase was greatest in years of low natural rainfall but apparent in all years.