Conservation Evidence strives to be as useful to conservationists as possible. Please take our survey to help the team improve our resource.

Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Artificial islands in wetland sites around the UK are used by a variety of bird species

Published source details

Burgess N.D. & Hirons G.J.M. (1992) Creation and management of artificial nesting sites for wetland birds. Journal of Environmental Management, 34, 285-295


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

Provide artificial nesting sites for grebes Bird Conservation

A 1992 review of the use of artificial islands and floating platforms in 17 wetland nature reserves across the UK (Burgess & Hirons 1992) found that great-crested grebes Podiceps cristatus and little grebes Tachybaptus ruficollis used well-vegetated islands and platforms at inland sites in the south of the UK. In addition, great-crested grebes used sparsely covered islands and platforms at inland sites, and well-vegetated ones at coastal sites. Neither species used either type of nesting site in Scotland. The review also examines island and platform use by divers, rails, ground-nesting seabirds, waders and wildfowl.

 

Provide artificial nesting sites for rails Bird Conservation

A replicated study in 1992 reviewed the use of artificial islands and floating platforms in 17 wetland nature reserves across the UK (Burgess & Hirons 1992) found that common moorhens Gallinula chloropus and common coot Fulica atra used both well-vegetated and bare shingle-covered islands and platforms at both inland and coastal sites. The only exception was moorhens not using sparsely covered platforms and islands at northern coastal sites. The review also examines island and platform use by grebes, divers, ground-nesting seabirds, waders and wildfowl.

 

Provide artificial nesting sites for waders Bird Conservation

A replicated study in 1992 reviewing the use of artificial islands and floating platforms in 17 wetland nature reserves across the UK (Burgess & Hirons 1992) found that six species of wader were more likely to use sparsely-vegetated islands and platforms for nesting on than well-vegetated ones. Platforms at inland sites were used less than those at coastal sites. Pied avocets Recurvirostra avosetta only bred on sparsely-covered islands and platforms at southern, coastal sites, with the provision of shingle islands leading to a significant increase in the avocet population at one site and the establishment of a population at another. Common ringed plovers Charadrius hiaticula only used islands at coastal sites, whilst little ringed plovers C. dubius only used sparsely-vegetated islands, but at both inland and coastal sites. Common redshank Tringa tetanus, northern lapwing Vanellus vanellus and Eurasian oystercatchers Haematopus ostralegus nested on islands at almost all sites. The review also examines island and platform use by grebes, divers, ground-nesting seabirds, rails and wildfowl.

 

Provide artificial nesting sites for divers/loons Bird Conservation

A 1992 replicated study of the use of artificial islands and floating platforms at 17 wetland nature reserves across the UK (Burgess & Hirons 1992) found that red-throated loons (divers) Gavia stellata and arctic loons (black-throated divers) G. arctica used both well-vegetated and bare shingle-covered islands and platforms at inland sites (i.e. on lakes and lochs) in Scotland. However, neither species used islands or rafts at Scottish coastal sites, or any sites in England or Wales. The review also examines island and platform use by grebes, rails, ground-nesting seabirds, waders and wildfowl.

 

Provide artificial nesting sites for ground and tree-nesting seabirds Bird Conservation

A 1992 review of the use of artificial islands and floating platforms in 17 wetland nature reserves across the UK (Burgess & Hirons 1992) found that all seven species of gull and tern investigated used sparsely-vegetated islands and platforms at southern, coastal sites, but that nesting sites elsewhere were not used by four of the species. Sandwich terns S. sandvicensis used vegetated nesting sites at southern coastal sites, whilst black-headed gulls L. ridibundus and common terns S. hirundo nested at all sites. At one site in Kent, the provision of 20 shingle islands has attracted 350 pairs of Sandwich and common terns and 1,000 pairs of black-headed gulls. The review also examines island and platform use by grebes, divers, rails, waders and wildfowl.

 

Provide artificial nesting sites for wildfowl using artificial/floating islands Bird Conservation

A replicated 1992 study of the use of artificial islands and floating platforms in 17 wetland nature reserves across the UK (Burgess & Hirons 1992) found that 11 species of wildfowl nested with greater frequency on well vegetated islands and platforms than on sparsely vegetated ones. This pattern was strongest at inland northern reserves, where all 11 species used well-vegetated sites, but none used sparsely covered ones. At coastal sites and southern reserves the pattern was weaker, but well-vegetated sites were always used by more species. The species studied were eight species of ducks, Canada geese Branta canadensis, feral greylag geese Anser anser and mute swans Cygnus olor. At four sites, the provision of vegetated islands or rafts resulted in the establishment of new populations of five duck species. The review also examines island and platform use by grebes, divers, ground-nesting seabirds, waders and rails.