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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Review of the impact of nest exclosures on piping plover Charadrius melodus nest abandonment on the Atlantic coast of eastern Canada and the north-eastern USA

Published source details

Vaske J.J., Rimmer D.W. & Deblinger R.D. (1994) The impact of different predator exclosures on piping plover nest abandonment. Journal of Field Ornithology, 65, 201-209

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Can nest protection increase nest abandonment? Bird Conservation

A 1992 meta-analysis (Vaske et al. 1994) analysed data from 211 nest exclosures across eight US states and three Canadian provinces to determine which factors increased or decreased the likelihood of nesting piping plovers Charadrius melodus abandoning their nests. Twenty two (10%) of the nests were abandoned, and the estimated probability of abandonment was significantly higher for exclosures with covers (12%, of 178 nests) than for uncovered exclosures (0% of 33). Exclosures without supporting posts were also more likely to be abandoned (40% of 35) compared to those with metal or wood posts (7% of 176). Exclosures with short posts (<122 cm) were more likely to be abandoned (32% of 41) than those with taller posts (122 cm: 5% of 40; >122 cm: 8% of 130). Finally, nests in Canada were more likely to be abandoned (40% of 35) than those in the north (5% of 121) or mid-Atlantic (12% of  55) USA. No factors related to exclosure construction, size, shape, fence height or depth (buried beneath the ground to prevent predators digging under), nor mesh size significantly altered the probability of nest abandonment.