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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Avian nest predation rates are higher in buffer strips created by forest clearcutting

Published source details

Vander Haegen W.M. & Degraaf R.M. (1996) Predation on Artificial Nests in Forested Riparian Buffer Strips. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 60, 542-550

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Provide or retain un-harvested buffer strips Bird Conservation

A replicated, controlled study from June-July in 1994 in five mainstem buffer strips (60-80 m wide), five tributary buffer strips (20-40 m wide) and five continuously forested control sites within commercial forests in Maine, USA (Vander Haegen & Degraaf 1996) found that avian nest predation rates were significantly higher in the buffer strips than in control sites (31% predation in tributary buffer strips, 23% in mainstem buffers vs. 15% in control sites). Red squirrels Tamiasciurus hudsonicus and blue jays Cyanocitta cristata were responsible for > 50% of depredations. The authors suggest leaving wide (> 150 m) buffer strips along riparian zones to reduce edge-related nest predation. Artificial nests were placed at five points (100 m apart) along transects that ran parallel to the stream.