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Individual study: Steel cages increase hatching success in southern dunlin Calidris alpina schinzii and do not increase predation rate of adults, but do not appear to increase fledging rate or the number of recruits returning to the population

Published source details

Pauliny A., Larsson M. & Bloqvist D. (2008) Nest Predation Management: Effects on Reproductive Success in Endangered Shorebirds. Journal of Wildlife Management, 72, 1579-1583


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

Protect nests from livestock to reduce trampling Bird Conservation

A replicated, controlled study between 1999 and 2004 on pastures in southwest Sweden (Pauliny et al. 2008) found that none of 77 southern dunlin Calidris alpina schinzii nests protected with cages were trampled by cattle, whereas 31 of 291 unprotected nests (11%) failed because of grazing livestock. Cages were 20 cm high truncated cones with 7.5 cm gaps between vertical bars and 4 x 4 cm steel mesh covering the top. The effect of cages on predation of nests and adults is discussed in ‘Threat: Invasive alien and other problematic species”.

 

Protect individual nests of ground-nesting birds Farmland Conservation

A replicated, controlled before-and-after study from 1999 to 2004 on pastures in southwest Sweden (Pauliny et al. 2008) found that the average hatching rate of southern dunlin Calidris alpina schinzii nests was significantly higher for nests protected by steel cages (20 cm high truncated cones with 7.5 cm gaps between vertical bars and 4 x 4 cm steel mesh covering the top) than for unprotected nests (67% of 25 protected nests survived to hatching vs 41% of 61 unprotected nests).Protected nests were also more likely to hatch more than one chick (80% of 25 protected nests vs 57% of 60 unprotected nests). Predation rates on brooding adults were unaffected (7% of 57 adults at protected nests predated vs 13% of 16 adults at unprotected nests). However, comparing 1993-1998 (when no nests were protected) with 1999-2004 (when some nests were protected) revealed that there was no significant change in either the number of fledglings/breeding adults or the number of new recruits/breeding adults produced by the study sites.

 

Can nest protection increase predation of adults and chicks? Bird Conservation

A replicated, controlled trial between 1999 and 2004 on pastures in southwest Sweden (Pauliny et al. 2008) found that protecting southern dunlin Calidris alpina schinzii nests with cages (20 cm high truncated cones with 7.5 cm gaps between vertical bars and 4 x 4 cm steel mesh covering the top) did not significantly affect the predation rates on brooding adults (7% of 57 adults at protected nests predated vs. 13% of 16) adults at unprotected nests). This study is also discussed in ‘Physically protect nests with individual exclosures/barriers’.

 

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

A replicated, controlled before-and-after study from 1999-2004 on pastures in southwest Sweden (Pauliny et al. 2008) found that the average hatching rate of southern dunlin Calidris alpina schinzii nests was significantly higher for nests protected by steel cages (20 cm high truncated cones with 7.5 cm gaps between vertical bars and 4 x 4 cm steel mesh covering the top) than for unprotected nests (67% of 25 protected nests survived to hatching vs. 41% of 61 unprotected nests). Moreover, protected nests were more likely to hatch more than one chick (80% of 25 protected nests vs. 57% of 60 unprotected nests). However, comparing 1993-98 (when no nests were protected) with 1999-2004 (when some nests were protected) revealed that there was no significant change in either the number of fledglings/breeding adult or the number of new recruits/breeding adult produced by the study sites. This study is also discussed in ‘Can nest protection increase predation of adults and chicks’?