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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Retention of snags in clear-cut forests significantly increases bird density and diversity

Published source details

Dickson J.G., Conner R.N. & Williamson J.H. (1983) Snag retention increases bird use of a clear-cut. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 47, 799-804


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

Use ring-barking (girdling), cutting or silvicides to produce snags Bird Conservation

A replicated, controlled study from May-June in 1977-1981 in four plots in pine-hardwood timber clearcuts in Texas, USA (Dickson et al. 1983), found that plots with deadwood snags had higher bird species richness and abundance than plots without snags (5 and 4 species/plot; 166 and 135 individuals/40 ha respectively). Similarly, indices of community diversity and evenness were also significantly higher in plots with snags. Cavity-nesting birds occurred on plots with snags but were virtually absent from plots without snags (13 compared to 1 individuals/40 ha). Other species used snags for foraging and perching. Seventy-five snags (9.4/ha) were made from killing trees of nine species in each plot. Plots were 80 x 250 m, four with snags and four without and were cleared in 1975 and planted with loblolly pines Pinus taeda in 1976.