Study

Management of lowland heath increases the breeding population of European nightjars Caprimulgus europaeus at Minsmere RSPB reserve, Suffolk, England

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Manually control or remove midstorey and ground-level vegetation (including mowing, chaining, cutting etc) in forests

Action Link
Bird Conservation

Manage woodland edges for birds

Action Link
Bird Conservation

Clear or open patches in forests

Action Link
Bird Conservation

Plant trees to act as windbreaks

Action Link
Bird Conservation

Coppice trees

Action Link
Bird Conservation

Manually control or remove midstorey and ground-level vegetation (including mowing, chaining, cutting etc) in shrubland

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Manually control or remove midstorey and ground-level vegetation (including mowing, chaining, cutting etc) in forests

    A before-and-after study at Minsmere reserve (151 ha), Suffolk, UK, in 1978-1988 (Burgess et al. 1990), investigated how European nightjars Caprimulgus europaeus responded to a series of management interventions, including the clearing of understory vegetation (1 m2 of heather Calluna vulgaris at the base of 1-3 m tall birch Betula spp. trees). This study is discussed in detail in ‘Clear or open patches in forests’.

     

  2. Manage woodland edges for birds

    A before-and-after study at Minsmere reserve (151 ha), Suffolk, UK, in 1978-1988 (Burgess et al. 1990), found that the local population of European nightjars Caprimulgus europaeus increased following a series of management interventions, including creating crenulated woodland edges to maximise the length of edges. This study is discussed in detail in ‘Clear or open patches in forests’.

     

  3. Clear or open patches in forests

    A before-and-after study at Minsmere reserve (151 ha), Suffolk, UK, in 1978-1988 (Burgess et al. 1990), found that the number of churring (calling) male European nightjars Caprimulgus europaeus increased significantly from eight to 23 following a series of management interventions, including the creation of woodland ‘glades’. Other interventions included increasing the length of woodland edge habitat; creating potential nesting sites (10-50/ha), mainly by clearing 1 m square patches of heather Calluna vulgaris at the base of small (1-3 m tall) birch Betula spp. trees (previously shown to be the most frequently-used nest sites); planting windbreaks; coppicing birch trees and the opening of areas of heath.

     

  4. Plant trees to act as windbreaks

    A before-and-after study at Minsmere reserve (151 ha), Suffolk, UK, in 1978-1988 (Burgess et al. 1990), found that the local population of European nightjars Caprimulgus europaeus increased following a series of management interventions, including the planting of ‘shelter belts’ to reduce wind in woodland glades. This study is discussed in detail in ‘Clear or open patches in forests’.

     

  5. Coppice trees

    A before-and-after study at Minsmere reserve (151 ha), Suffolk, UK, in 1978-1988 (Burgess et al. 1990), found that the local population of European nightjars Caprimulgus europaeus increased following a series of management interventions, including the coppicing of some birch trees. This study is discussed in detail in ‘Clear or open patches in forests’.

     

  6. Manually control or remove midstorey and ground-level vegetation (including mowing, chaining, cutting etc) in shrubland

    A before-and-after study at Minsmere reserve (151 ha), Suffolk, UK, in 1978-1988 (Burgess et al. 1990), found that the local population of European nightjars Caprimulgus europaeus increased following a series of management interventions, including creating open patches in heath and removing dominant species such as bracken Pteridium aquilinum, birch Betula spp. and pines Pinus spp. This study is discussed in detail in ‘Clear or open patches in forests’.

     

Output references

What Works in Conservation

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