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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: The use of nest cages and electric fencing to reduce predation of piping plover, Charadrius melodus nests around alkali lakes in North Dakota and Montana, USA

Published source details

Murphy R.K., Greenwood R.J., Ivan J.S. & Smith K.A. (2003) Predator exclusion methods for managing endangered shorebirds: are two barriers better than one? Waterbirds, 26, 156-159


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

Use multiple barriers to protect nests Bird Conservation

A replicated, controlled study in 1996 and 1997 at three alkali lakes in North Dakota and Montana, USA (Murphy et al. 2003) found that piping plover Charadrius melodus fledging rates were higher with mesh fences erected around individual nests (see ‘Physically protect nests with individual exclosures/barriers’). When an electric fence (1.1 m tall) was erected around study sites there was a non-significant increase in fledging success, compared with sites where only individual nest fences were used (2.1 chicks/pair with electric fence and nest fences, n = 50 vs. 1.7 chicks/pair with only nest fences, n = 46).

 

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

A replicated, controlled study from 1996-1997 at three alkali lakes in North Dakota and Montana, USA (Murphy et al. 2003) found that the average number of fledglings produced by piping plover Charadrius melodus pairs provided with fences (0.9 m tall and made from 5 cm poultry wire) around individual nests was significantly higher than for unprotected pairs (1.7 chicks/pair for 46 pairs with nest fences  vs. 0.7 chicks/pair for 43 unprotected nests). This study is described further in ‘Use multiple barriers to protect nests’.