Study

Impact of reedbed management regime on breeding success of great bitterns Botaurus stellaris in eastern and north-western England

  • Published source details Gilbert G., Tyler G.A., Dunn C.J., Ratcliffe N. & Smith K.W. (2007) The influence of habitat management on the breeding success of the great bittern Botaurus stellaris in Britain. Ibis, 149, 53-66

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Mow or cut reedbeds

Action Link
Bird Conservation

Manage water level in wetlands

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Mow or cut reedbeds

    A replicated study in 1997-2001 in ten reedbed sites across England (Gilbert et al. 2007) investigated the impact of raising water levels in reedbeds on great bittern Botaurus stellaris breeding (see ‘Manage water levels in wetlands’). Reeds at sites with low water levels were cut in spring (March-April), compared with winter (completed by December) for high water level sites, but the effect of cutting was not specifically investigated. Male bitterns at low-water sites established territories later than on high-water sites, but sites did not differ in productivity.

     

  2. Manage water level in wetlands

    A replicated study in 1997-2001 in ten reedbed sites across England (Gilbert et al. 2007) found that male great bitterns Botaurus stellaris established territories significantly earlier in four sites with water levels maintained at 19-27 cm, compared to six with lower water levels (4-9 cm, four managed and four unmanaged). However, there was no effect on chick survival or overall productivity (1.3 chicks/female on high water sites vs. 1.2 on low water sites). Reeds at sites with low water levels were also cut in spring (March-April), compared with winter (completed by December) for high water level sites, but the effect of cutting was not specifically investigated.

     

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 17

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