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What Works in Conservation 2015

 | 
William J. Sutherland
, 
Lynn V. Dicks
, 
Nancy Ockendon
, 
et al.

3. Bird Conservation

3.12. Threat: Pollution

Texte intégral

3.12.1 Industrial pollution

Based on the collated evidence, what is the current assessment of the effectiveness of interventions for industrial pollution?

Likely to be beneficial

● Use visual and acoustic ʹscarersʹ to deter birds from landing on pools polluted by mining or sewage

Unknown effectiveness (limited evidence)

● Relocate birds following oil spills
● Use repellents to deter birds from landing on pools polluted by mining

Unlikely to be beneficial

● Clean birds after oil spills

Likely to be beneficial

Use visual and acoustic ʹscarersʹ to deter birds from landing on pools polluted by mining or sewage

1Two studies from Australia and the USA found that deterrent systems reduced bird mortality on toxic pools. Four of five studies from the USA and Canada found that fewer birds landed on pools when deterrents were used, one found no effect. Two studies found that radar-activated systems were more effective than randomly-activated systems. One study found that loud noises were more effective than raptor models. Assessment: likely to be beneficial (effectiveness 50%; certainty 46%; harms 0%).

2http://www.conservationevidence.com/​actions/​452

Unknown effectiveness (limited evidence)

Relocate birds following oil spills

3A study from South Africa found that a high percentage of penguins relocated following an oil spill returned to and bred at their old colony. More relocated birds bred than oiled-and-cleaned birds. Assessment: unknown effectiveness – limited evidence (effectiveness 39%; certainty 10%; harms 5%).

4http://www.conservationevidence.com/​actions/​449

Use repellents to deter birds from landing on pools polluted by mining

5An ex situ study from the USA found that fewer common starlings consumed contaminated water laced with chemicals, compared to untreated water. Assessment: unknown effectiveness – limited evidence (effectiveness 51%; certainty 10%; harms 0%).

6http://www.conservationevidence.com/​actions/​453

Unlikely to be beneficial

Clean birds after oil spills

7Three studies from South Africa and Australia found high survival of oiled-and-cleaned penguins and plovers, but a large study from the USA found low survival of cleaned common guillemots. Two studies found that cleaned birds bred and had similar success to un-oiled birds. After a second spill, one study found that cleaned birds were less likely to breed. Two studies found that cleaned birds had lower breeding success than un-oiled birds. Assessment: unlikely to be beneficial (effectiveness 30%; certainty 45%; harms 5%).

8http://www.conservationevidence.com/​actions/​448

3.12.2 Agricultural pollution

Based on the collated evidence, what is the current assessment of the effectiveness of interventions for agricultural pollution?

Likely to be beneficial

● Leave headlands in fields unsprayed (conservation headlands )
● Provide food for vultures to reduce mortality from diclofenac
● Reduce pesticide, herbicide and fertiliser use generally

Unknown effectiveness (limited evidence)

● Reduce chemical inputs in permanent grassland management
● Restrict certain pesticides or other agricultural chemicals

No evidence found (no assessment)

● Make selective use of spring herbicides
● Provide buffer strips along rivers and streams
● Provide unfertilised cereal headlands in arable fields
● Use buffer strips around in-field ponds
● Use organic rather than mineral fertilisers

Likely to be beneficial

Leave headlands in fields unsprayed (conservation headlands)

9Three studies from Europe found that several species were strongly associated with conservation headlands; two of these found that other species were not associated with them. A review from the UK found larger grey partridge populations on sites with conservation headlands. Three studies found higher grey partridge adult or chick survival on sites with conservation headlands, one found survival did not differ. Four studies found higher grey partridge productivity on sites with conservation headlands, two found similar productivities and one found a negative relationship between conservation headlands and the number of chicks per adult partridge. Assessment: likely to be beneficial (effectiveness 70%; certainty 50%; harms 0%).

10http://www.conservationevidence.com/​actions/​461

Provide food for vultures to reduce mortality from diclofenac

11A before-and-after trial in Pakistan found that oriental white-backed vulture mortality rates were significantly lower when supplementary food was provided, compared to when it was not. Assessment: likely to be beneficial (effectiveness 60%; certainty 40%; harms 0%).

12http://www.conservationevidence.com/​actions/​456

Reduce pesticide, herbicide and fertiliser use generally

13One of nine studies found that the populations of some species increased when pesticide use was reduced and other interventions used. Three studies found that some or all species were found at higher densities on reduced-input sites. Five found that some of all species were not at higher densities. A study from the UK found that grey partridge chicks had higher survival on sites with reduced pesticide input. Another found that partridge broods were smaller on such sites and there was no relationship between reduced inputs and survival or the ratio of young to old birds. Assessment: likely to be beneficial (effectiveness 55%; certainty 55%; harms 3%).

14http://www.conservationevidence.com/​actions/​454

Unknown effectiveness (limited evidence)

Reduce chemical inputs in permanent grassland management

15A study from the UK found that no more foraging birds were attracted to pasture plots with no fertiliser, compared to control plots. Assessment: unknown effectiveness – limited evidence (effectiveness 0%; certainty 10%; harms 0%).

16http://www.conservationevidence.com/​actions/​459

Restrict certain pesticides or other agricultural chemicals

17A before-and-study from Spain found an increase in the regional griffon vulture population following the banning of strychnine, amongst several other interventions. Assessment: unknown effectiveness – limited evidence (effectiveness 20%; certainty 10%; harms 0%).

18http://www.conservationevidence.com/​actions/​455

No evidence found (no assessment)

19We have captured no evidence for the following interventions:

  • Make selective use of spring herbicides
  • Provide buffer strips along rivers and streams
  • Provide unfertilised cereal headlands in arable fields
  • Use buffer strips around in-field ponds
  • Use organic rather than mineral fertilisers

3.12.3 Air-borne pollutants

Based on the collated evidence, what is the current assessment of the effectiveness of interventions for air-borne pollutants?

Unknown effectiveness (limited evidence)

● Use lime to reduce acidification in lakes

Unknown effectiveness (limited evidence)

Use lime to reduce acidification in lakes

20A study from Sweden found no difference in osprey productivity during a period of extensive liming of acidified lakes compared to two periods without liming. Assessment: unknown effectiveness – limited evidence (effectiveness 0%; certainty 10%; harms 0%).

21http://www.conservationevidence.com/​actions/​465

3.12.4 Excess energy

Based on the collated evidence, what is the current assessment of the effectiveness of interventions for excess energy?

Unknown effectiveness (limited evidence)

● Shield lights to reduce mortality from artificial lights
● Turning off lights to reduce mortality from artificial lights
● Use flashing lights to reduce mortality from artificial lights
● Use lights low in spectral red to reduce mortality from artificial lights

No evidence found (no assessment)

● Reduce the intensity of lighthouse beams
● Using volunteers to collect and rehabilitate downed birds

Unknown effectiveness (limited evidence)

Shield lights to reduce mortality from artificial lights

22A study from the USA found that fewer shearwaters were downed when security lights were shielded, compared to nights with unshielded lights. Assessment: unknown effectiveness – limited evidence (effectiveness 50%; certainty 15%; harms 0%).

23http://www.conservationevidence.com/​actions/​469

Turning off lights to reduce mortality from artificial lights

24A study from the UK found that fewer seabirds were downed when artificial (indoor and outdoor) lighting was reduced at night, compared to nights with normal lighting. Assessment: unknown effectiveness – limited evidence (effectiveness 49%; certainty 10%; harms 0%).

25http://www.conservationevidence.com/​actions/​467

Use flashing lights to reduce mortality from artificial lights

26A study from the USA found that fewer dead birds were found beneath aviation control towers with only flashing lights, compared to those with both flashing and continuous lights. Assessment: unknown effectiveness – limited evidence (effectiveness 54%; certainty 15%; harms 0%).

27http://www.conservationevidence.com/​actions/​470

Use lights low in spectral red to reduce mortality from artificial lights

28Two studies from Europe found that fewer birds were attracted to lowred lights (including green and blue lights), compared with the number expected, or the number attracted to white or red lights. Assessment: unknown effectiveness – limited evidence (effectiveness 56%; certainty 15%; harms 0%).

29http://www.conservationevidence.com/​actions/​471

No evidence found (no assessment)

30We have captured no evidence for the following interventions:

  • Reduce the intensity of lighthouse beams
  • Using volunteers to collect and rehabilitate downed birds

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