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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effect of predator exclosures on nest survival rates of snowy plover Charadrius alexandrinus, piping plover C. melodus and killdeer C. vociferus in Bent, Kiowa and Prowers counties, Colorado, USA

Published source details

Mabee T.J. & Estelle V.B. (2000) Assessing the effectiveness of predator exclosures for plovers. Wilson Bulletin, 112, 14-20


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

Physically protect nests with individual exclosures/barriers or provide shelters for chicks of waders Bird Conservation

A small replicated, controlled study from 1994-95 on beaches and alkaline flats in Colorado, USA (Mabee & Estelle 2000) found that daily survival rates of 27 snowy plover Charadrius alexandrinus, 16 killdeer C. vociferous and 9 piping plover C. melodus nests (in 1994) and 28 snowy plover nests (in 1995) were no higher for nests protected by predator exclosures (61 cm tall, 122 cm in diameter cylinders of 5 x 5 cm or 5 x 10 cm wire mesh, for snowy and piping plover or killdeer respectively) than for unprotected nests (daily survival rates in 1994: 0.98 vs. 0.98 for snowy plovers; 0.97 vs. 0.99 for killdeer; 0.98 vs. 0.98 for piping plovers; in 1995: 0.98 vs. 0.97 for snowy plovers). Five protected nests (20%) were predated in 1994 and three (21%) in 1995, by snakes, rodents or skinks. The authors cite small sample sizes, unbalanced experimental design and ‘inappropriate statistical analyses’ as possible reasons for the lack of a significant result.