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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Planting native vegetation increases bird species richness on farms in New South Wales, Australia

Published source details

Cunningham R.B., Lindenmayer D.B., Crane M., Michael D., MacGregor C., Montague-Drake R. & Fischer J. (2008) The combined effects of remnant vegetation and tree planting on farmland birds. Conservation Biology, 22, 742-752


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

Increase the proportion of natural/semi-natural vegetation in the farmed landscape Bird Conservation

A replicated and controlled paired sites study in the springs of 2002, 2004 and 2006 and winter 2004 on 46 wheat and livestock farms across New South Wales, Australia (Cunningham et al. 2008), found that 23 farms with plantings of native vegetation had, on average 3.4 more bird species than farms without plantings. If farms had more than 20 ha of plantings then this increased to 4.4 more species. In addition, 12 native species responded positively to planting, and six responded negatively. However, three times more variation in bird community assemblage was explained by the presence or absence of remnant natural vegetation and the size of remnant patches than by plantings. Plantings were of both locally endemic and non-local (but native) species and were at least seven years old.