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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Meta-analysis reveals recommendations for piping plover Charadrius melodus nest exclosures across the USA and Canada

Published source details

Deblinger R.D., Vaske J.J. & Rimmer D.W. (1992) An evaluation of different predator exclosures used to protect Atlantic coast piping plover nests. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 20, 274-279


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

Physically protect nests with individual exclosures/barriers or provide shelters for chicks of waders Bird Conservation

A 1992 meta-analysis (Deblinger et al. 1992) analysed data from 211 nest exclosures across eight US states and three Canadian provinces to determine exclosure features that led to lowest predation rates of piping plover Charadrius melodus nests. Overall, exclosures were effective (10% (21) of nests being predated, mainly by red foxes Vulpes vulpes but also American crows Corvus brachyrhynchos and other predators). Estimated predation probabilities revealed that: mid-sized exclosures (3-6 m2) suffered higher predation (26% of 48 exclosures) than small (<3 m2, 5% of 23) or large (>6 m2, 8% of 140) exclosures. Square enclosures were predated at a higher rate (72% of 19) than circular (8% of 166) or triangular (0% of 26) ones. Exclosures supported by ‘tomato stakes’ (thin gardening stakes) were predated more (80% predation of 18 exclosures) than unsupported (3% of 35) or metal/wood supported (8% of 158). Exclosures with mid-height posts (122 cm) were predated more (29% of 40) than short (<122 cm, 3% of 41) or tall (>122, 9% of 130) posts and exclosure with low fences (<122 cm, 42% of 27) were more likely to be predated than those with high (>122 cm, 8% of 184) fences. Fences buried to less than 10 cm were more likely (27% of 62) to be predated than those buried to more than 10 cm (6% of 149). There were no significant differences between different mesh sizes (5 x 10 cm vs. 5 x 5 cm) or whether exclosures were covered or not.