Action: Mark fences to reduce bird collision mortality
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A randomised, replicated and controlled study from the UK found that fewer birds collided with deer fence marked with orange netting than with unmarked sections.
Fences erected around young plantations (to exclude deer and other browsers) or to delineate property can be hard to see and low-flying birds such as grouse can be killed by flying into them. See ‘Mark power lines to reduce incidental mortality’ for similar interventions designed to reduce collision mortality with power lines.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
In a randomised, replicated and controlled study at thirteen sites in the Scottish Highlands from April 1995 to May 1997 (Baines & Andrew 2003), significantly fewer birds collided with sections of deer fence marked with orange netting (0.35 collisions/km/month) than with unmarked control sections (1.13 collisions/km/month). A total of 437 birds collided with the fences, 92% of which were gamebirds (red grouse Lagopus lagopus scoticus accounted for 42%, black grouse Tetrao tetrix 29% and western capercaillie Tetrao urogallus 20%). Collision rates in marked sections were 91% lower for black grouse and 64% lower for capercallie than in control sections. A total of 20 km of ten different fences was tested, with two 1 km stretches of each fence being randomly assigned to treatments.