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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: A 1994 site comparison study and experimental data from Little Valley, Nevada, USA, show that riparian birds have reduced nesting success in areas grazed by cattle compared to rested areas

Published source details

Ammon E.M. & Stacey P.B. (1997) Avian nest success in relation to past grazing regimes in a montane riparian system. The Condor, 99, 7-13


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Exclude grazers from semi-natural habitats Bird Conservation

In a 1994 site comparison study in Little Valley, Nevada, USA (Ammon & Stacey 1997), the nesting success rates of riparian bird species were found to be lower in an area grazed by cattle than an adjacent area rested from grazing for 30 years (grazed area: 83% of six above-ground nests successful and 67% of 12 ground nests predated; rested area 36% of 14 above-ground nests successful and 43% of seven ground nests predated). Experimental data from placing artificial nests baited with a Japanese quail Coturnix japonica egg and one painted plasticine egg in both areas showed a similar trend (daily survival rates of 55-95% of 120 eggs in grazed area vs. 77-98% of 120 in rested area). The authors suggest that grazing may facilitate nesting predation through changes in predator assemblage or increasing nest detectability.