Action

Action Synopsis: Bird Conservation About Actions

Use snakeskin to deter mammalian nest predators

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
    33%
  • Certainty
    15%
  • Harms
    not assessed

Source countries

Key messages

A randomised, replicated and controlled trial in the USA found that artificial nests were less likely to be predated if they had snake skin wrapped around them than control nests.

 

About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A randomised, replicated and controlled trial in May-June 2004 in Arkansas, USA (Medlin & Risch 2006) found that artificial great crested flycatcher Myiarchus crinitus nests placed inside 60 nest boxes were less likely to be predated if there was black rat snake Elaphe obsolete skin inside the nest box (0/20 nests predated) or both inside and outside the nest box (0/20 predated) than if there was no snake skin present (5/20 predated). Predation was mainly by southern flying squirrels Glaucomys volans. Snake skins were treated by being placed in proximity with to a live rat snake for five hours prior to installation.

     

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Williams, D.R., Child, M.F., Dicks, L.V., Ockendon, N., Pople, R.G., Showler, D.A., Walsh, J.C., zu Ermgassen, E.K.H.J. & Sutherland, W.J. (2019) Bird Conservation. Pages 141-290 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, N. Ockendon, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2019. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, U

Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

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Bird Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Bird Conservation

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, terrestrial mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

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