Predation on adult piping plovers at predator exclosure cages

  • Published source details Murphy R.K., Michaud I.M.G., Prescott D.R.C., Ivan J.S., Anderson B.J. & French-Pombier M.L. (2003) Predation on adult piping plovers at predator exclosure cages. Waterbirds, 26, 150-155.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Can nest protection increase predation of adults and chicks?

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Can nest protection increase predation of adults and chicks?

    A replicated, controlled study from 1993-2002 at five alkali lakes in Alberta and Saskatchewan (Canada), Montana and North Dakota, USA (Murphy et al. 2003) found that adult piping plovers Charadrius melodus were more likely to be predated if their nests were protected by exclosures (5% of 1,355 nests suffering mortality) than if their nests were unprotected (no adults predated at 420 nests). Predation rates were highest (up to 48%) at sites with 4–15% tree cover within 2 km of the nests and zero in areas with few trees (across the study period, 393 nests monitored). At one site, when small (1-1.7 m diameter) exclosures were replaced with large (3-4 m diameter) ones with netting tops, predation rate fell from 34% in 1999 (55 nests) to 11% in 2000 (39 nests) In areas where large cages only were used, predation rates were 0.7% (303 nests). Most (78%) losses were to raptors.


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