Study

Re-profiling of islands in a gravel pit to improve nesting conditions for terns Sterna and small gulls Larus at Dungeness RSPB reserve, Kent, England

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Reduce inter-specific competition for nest sites of ground nesting seabirds by removing competitor species

Action Link
Bird Conservation

Remove vegetation to create nesting areas

Action Link
Bird Conservation

Provide artificial nesting sites for ground and tree-nesting seabirds

Action Link
Bird Conservation

Control avian predators on islands

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Reduce inter-specific competition for nest sites of ground nesting seabirds by removing competitor species

    A before-and-after study at a former gravel pit in Kent, England (Akers & Allcorn 2006), reports that removing the eggs and nests of large gulls Larus spp. in the 1990s did not have any effect on halting the decline of smaller Larus spp. and terns Sterna spp. It also reports that the management was disturbing great cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo nesting nearby and was stopped in 2003. A grid of ‘exposure lines’ deployed over the islands was also unsuccessful in either excluding large gulls or attracting terns. Other management on the island is described in ‘Provide artificial nesting sites’ and ‘Manually remove vegetation from wetlands’.

     

  2. Remove vegetation to create nesting areas

    A before-and-after study at a former gravel pit in Kent, England (Akers & Allcorn 2006), found that one pair of common terns Sterna hirundo, five pairs of black-headed gulls Larus ridibundus and approximately 100 pairs of herring gulls L. argentatus nested on a series of gravel islands after vegetation was removed from them. This study is discussed in ‘Provide artificial nesting sites’.

     

  3. Provide artificial nesting sites for ground and tree-nesting seabirds

    A before-and-after study at a former gravel pit in Kent, England (Akers & Allcorn 2006), found that one pair of common terns Sterna hirundo, five pairs of black-headed gulls Larus ridibundus and approximately 100 pairs of herring gulls L. argentatus nested on a series of gravel islands after they were re-profiled and lowered in February 2005 to encourage winter flooding. Vegetation was also removed from the islands (see ‘Manually remove vegetation from wetlands’). The number of birds nesting on the islands was originally high but declined until none nested there in 2002.

     

  4. Control avian predators on islands

    A before-and-after study at a former gravel pit in Kent, England (Akers & Allcorn 2006), found that the number of common terns Sterna hirundo and black-headed gulls Larus ridibundus declined on gravel islands, despite attempts to remove the nests and eggs of large gulls (e.g. herring gulls L. argentatus) in the 1990s and early 2000s. This study is described in detail in ‘Reduce inter-specific competition for nest sites by removing or excluding competitor species’ and ‘Provide artificial nesting sites’.

     

Output references

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