Responses of breeding birds to grazing by large herbivores in the border zone of the Oostvaardersplassen nature reserve, Flevoland, the Netherlands

  • Published source details Bijlsma R.G. (2008) Broedvogels van de buitenkaadse Oostvaardersplassen in 1997, 2002 en 2007. A & W-rapport 1051. Altenburg & Wymenga, Veenwouden (added by: Gulickx M.M.C. 2009).


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Employ grazing in non-grassland habitats

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Employ grazing in non-grassland habitats

    A before-and-after study in Oostvaardersplassen reserve in Flevoland, the Netherlands (Bijlsma 2008), found significant changes in the bird community in a 1,900 ha area of wet and dry grasslands, reedbeds, scrub and small woodlands, following increased numbers of grazing animals. The number of breeding species declined from 92 to 70 and of the 41 species with more than ten breeding pairs, eight increased and 33 decreased. Shrub-dependent species declined, as did those requiring tall reeds to nest. The authors suggest that declines in some grassland species were due to increased trampling. The number of Heck cattle Bos taurus, Konik horses Equus ferus and red deer Cervus elaphus increased from 390, 284 and 246 respectively (in 1997) to 497, 982 and 1,898 in 2007 (with cattle peaking at 580 in 2002). This reduced the areas of reedbeds from 844 to 377 ha and of shrub and woodland from 97 to 50 ha. The area of dry grassland increased from 527 to 1,019 ha.


Output references

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, terrestrial mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 18

Go to the CE Journal

Subscribe to our newsletter

Please add your details if you are interested in receiving updates from the Conservation Evidence team about new papers, synopses and opportunities.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust