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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Use of nest boxes by blue tit Parus caeruleus in relation to presence of hazel dormouse Muscardinus avellanarius on the island of Sicily, Italy

Published source details

Sarà M., Milazzo A., Falletta W. & Bellia E. (2005) Exploitation competition between hole-nesters (Muscardinus avellanarius, Mammalia and Parus caeruleus, Aves) in Mediterranean woodlands. Journal of Zoology, 265, 347-357


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

Reduce inter-specific competition for nest sites of songbirds by removing competitor species Bird Conservation

A controlled trial in 2001-2 in beech, holly and oak forests on Sicily, Italy (Sara et al. 2005), found that blue tits Parus caeruleus (also Cyanistes caeruleus) occupied a higher proportion of nest boxes in an experimental area where hazel dormice Muscardinus avellanarius were excluded from nest boxes over winter, compared to a control area where dormice were not excluded, but this difference was not significant. The authors argue that the lack of significance may be due to the small sample size (25 nest boxes in each treatment). Dormice were excluded by blocking nest box entrances between November 2001 and March 2002. This study is also discussed in ‘Provide artificial nesting sites’.

 

Provide artificial nesting sites for songbirds Bird Conservation

A replicated trial in 1998-2003 in beech, holly and oak forests on Sicily, Italy (Sara et al. 2005), found that blue tits Parus caeruleus (also Cyanistes caeruleus) showed a significant preference for small nest boxes with a 3.2 cm entrance hole, compared to large boxes with a 5 cm entrance. This study also describes the impact of hazel dormouse Muscardinus avellanarius exclusion on blue tit nesting success (see ‘Reduce inter-specific competition for nest sites by removing or excluding competitor species’).