Action: Mark nests during harvest
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
A replicated study from the Netherlands found that northern lapwing Vanellus vanellus nests were less likely to be destroyed when they were marked, compared to when they were not.
Marking the nests of ground-nesting birds may reduce the accidental destruction by farmers during harvest or mowing.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A replicated study in 2005-6 on arable farms in Noordoostpolder and Oostelijk Flevoland, the Netherlands (Kragten et al. 2008), found that marked northern lapwing Vanellus vanellus nests were significantly less likely to fail as a result of farming operations than unmarked nests (0-9% of 1,644 marked nests destroyed vs. 15-42% of 229 unmarked nests). However, overall survival rates did not differ significantly (37-73% success for marked nests vs. 38-66% for unmarked), with some evidence that marked nests were deserted or predated more often. Nests on the marked farms (121 in 2005, 113 in 2006) were marked with two bamboo poles (1 m high) by 151-171 volunteers, and farmers told of their presence. On the control farms, no markers were put in place and farmers were not informed of the nests.