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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effects of unsprayed crop edges on farmland birds

Published source details

de Snoo G.R., Dobbelstein R. & Koelewijn S. (1994) Effects of unsprayed crop edges on farmland birds. British Crop Protection Council Monographs, 58, 221-226


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

Leave headlands in fields unsprayed (conservation headlands) Bird Conservation

A replicated, controlled study of arable fields on eight farms in the Netherlands (de Snoo et al. 1994) found that unsprayed field margins had a higher abundance of blue-headed wagtail Motacilla flava flava than sprayed edges.  Blue-headed wagtails made 1.5-2.4 visits/km to unsprayed margins compared to just 0.5 visits/km for sprayed margins.  Numbers of Eurasian skylarks Alauda arvensis and meadow pipits Anthus pratensis did not differ significantly in sprayed and unsprayed margins (skylark: 0.4 vs. 0.2-0.4; pipits: 0.1 vs. 0.1). Blue-headed wagtails and skylarks visited field margins more than field centres and sprayed edges bordering ditches more than sprayed edges adjacent to a second plot.  Strips 6 m wide along field edges were left unsprayed by herbicides and insecticides (total length 2,560-3,790 m/year) and were compared to sprayed edges in the same field and to the sprayed field in 1992-1993.  Farmland birds were sampled using a linear transect census, with all birds visiting field margins recorded and a similar size strip in the centre of each field recorded.  Birds were sampled 10-12 times between April and mid-July.

 

Leave headlands in fields unsprayed (conservation headlands) Farmland Conservation

A replicated, controlled study in 1992-1993 of arable fields on eight farms in the Netherlands (de Snoo et al. 1994) found that unsprayed field margins had a higher abundance of blue-headed wagtail Motacilla flava flava than sprayed edges. Blue-headed wagtails made 1.5-2.4 visits/km to unsprayed margins compared to just 0.5 visits/km for sprayed margins. Numbers of Eurasian skylark Alauda arvensis and meadow pipits Anthus pratensis did not differ significantly in sprayed and unsprayed margins (skylark: 0.4 vs 0.2-0.4, meadow pipit: 0.1 vs 0.1). Blue-headed wagtails and skylarks visited field margins more than field centres and sprayed edges bordering ditches more than sprayed edges adjacent to a second plot. Strips 6 m-wide along field edges were left unsprayed by herbicides and insecticides (total length 2560-3790 m/year) and were compared to sprayed edges in the same field and to the sprayed field in 1992-1993. Farmland birds were sampled using a linear transect census, with all birds visiting field margins recorded and a similar size strip in the centre of each field recorded. Birds were sampled 10-12 times between April and mid-July. This study was part of the same experimental set-up as (de Snoo 1996, de Snoo & de Leeuw 1996, de Snoo 1997, de Snoo et al. 1998, de Snoo 1999).