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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effect of winter human disturbance on nocturnal abundance, behaviour and fish consumption of grey herons Ardea cinerea at a cyprinid fish farm at Zonhoven, Limburg, Belgium

Published source details

Draulans D. & Van Vessem J. (1985) The effect of disturbance on nocturnal abundance and behaviour of grey herons (Ardea cinerea) at a fish-farm in winter. Journal of Applied Ecology, 22, 19-27


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

Disturb birds using foot patrols Bird Conservation

A replicated study from Limburg, Belgium, over 49 nights in 1982-3 (Draulans & Van Vessem 1985), found that using foot patrols to disturb grey herons Ardea cinerea from 12 fish ponds did not necessarily reduce fish consumption. Low frequency disturbance (e.g. 3-5 farmer visits/night) caused a significant decrease in heron numbers but became less effective as heron numbers increased. Reduced numbers did not necessarily reduce fish consumption, as maximum predation occurred soon after bird arrival and disturbance mostly discouraged only well-fed birds from returning.

 

Scare birds from fish farms Bird Conservation

A replicated study from Limburg, Belgium, over 49 nights in 1982-3 (Draulans & Van Vessem 1985), found that using foot patrols to disturb grey herons Ardea cinerea from 12 fish ponds did not necessarily reduce fish consumption. Low frequency disturbance (e.g. 3-5 farmer visits/night) caused a significant decrease in heron numbers but became less effective as heron numbers increased. Reduced numbers did not necessarily reduce fish consumption, as maximum predation occurred soon after bird arrival and disturbance mostly discouraged only well-fed birds from returning.