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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Impact of predator exclusion fencing on hatching success of least terns Sterna antillarum nesting at Crane Beach, near Ipswich, Massachusetts, USA

Published source details

Rimmer D.W. & Deblinger R.D. (1992) Use of fencing to limit terrestrial predator movements into least tern colonies. Colonial Waterbirds, 15, 226-229


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 from predators using non-electric fencing Bird Conservation

A controlled, replicated before-and-after study in Massachusetts, USA (Rimmer & Deblinger 1992) found that the proportion of least tern Sterna antillarum nests lost to predation was significantly lower in two colonies protected in 1990-1 by 1.2 m high wire-mesh fencing (<1% nests predated, 87% hatched successfully, 191 nests monitored), compared to either three unprotected colonies over the same time period (46% of 69 nests predated, 41%  hatched successfully) or the study colonies and nine additional colonies without fencing between 1987 and 1991 (52% of 833 nests predated, 16% hatched successfully).

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

A controlled, replicated study from 1986-1989 on a beach in Massachusetts, USA (Rimmer & Deblinger 1992) found that hatching rates of 26 piping plover Charadrius melodus nests protected by triangular wire mesh fences (5 cm wire mesh, 30.5 m perimeter, placed around individual nests) were higher than for unprotected nests (92% and 25% of nests hatching at least one egg, respectively). On average, protected nests produced significantly more nestlings than unprotected nests (3.5 and 1 chicks/nest respectively). All but one of the losses of unprotected nests was due to predation; no protected nests were predated.