The Conservation Evidence Journal shares the global experience of those on the front line of conservation practice about the effectiveness of conservation actions. All papers include monitoring of the effects of the intervention and are written by, or in partnership with, those who did the conservation work. We encourage articles from anywhere around the world on all aspects of species and habitat management such as habitat creation, habitat restoration, translocations, reintroductions, invasive species control, changing attitudes and education.
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The Conservation Evidence Journal is a separate publication within the Conservation Evidence project. Conservation Evidence is a free, authoritative information resource designed to support decisions about how to maintain and restore global biodiversity. You can search for summarised evidence from the scientific literature about the effects of actions for species groups and habitats using our online database.
EDITORIAL Creating testable questions in practical conservation: a process and 100 questions
Sutherland W.J., Robinson J.M., Aldridge D.C., Alamenciak T., Armes M., Baranduin N., Bladon A.J., Breed M.F., Dyas N., Elphick C.S., Griffiths R.A., Hughes J., Middleton B., Littlewood N.A., Mitchell R., Morgan W.H., Mosley R., Petrovan S.O., Prendergast K., Ritchie E.G., Raven H., Smith R.K., Watts S.H. & Thornton A. (2022), 19, 1-7
It is now clear that the routine embedding of experiments into conservation practice is essential for creating reasonably comprehensive evidence of the effectiveness of actions. However, an important barrier is the stage of identifying testable questions that are both useful but also realistic to carry out without a major research project. We identified approaches for generating such suitable questions. A team of 24 participants crowdsourced suggestions, resulting in a list of a hundred possible tests of actions.
Effectiveness of actions intended to achieve a voluntary transition from the use of lead to non-lead shotgun ammunition for hunting in Britain
Green R.E., Taggart M.A., Pain D.J., Clark N.A., Clewley L., Cromie R., Dodd S.G., Elliot B., Green R.M.W., Huntley B., Huntley J., Pap S., Porter R., Robinson J.A., Sheldon R., Smith K.W., Smith L., Spencer J. & Stroud D. (2022), 19, 8-14
In 2020, nine major UK shooting and rural organisations proposed a voluntary transition from the use for hunting of lead shotgun ammunition to non-lead alternatives. The major food retailer Waitrose & Partners has announced its intention to move to not supplying game meat products from animals killed using any kind of lead ammunition and the National Game Dealers Association announced a plan for a similar policy to be implemented in 2022. The SHOT-SWITCH research project, which is intended to monitor the progress of these voluntary initiatives, began in the 2020/2021 shooting season. The project monitors changes in the proportions of wild-shot common pheasants Phasianus colchicus available to consumers in Great Britain that had been killed using lead and non-lead shotgun ammunition, as assessed by using inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry to identify the composition of shotgun pellets recovered from carcasses. In 2020/2021, 99.4% of the pheasants sampled had been killed using lead ammunition. We report here further results from this study for the 2021/2022 season. We found that 99.5% of the 215 pheasants from which shotgun pellets were recovered had been killed using lead ammunition. We conclude that the shooting and rural organisations’ joint statement and two years of their considerable efforts in education, awareness-raising and promotion, have not yet had a detectable effect on the ammunition types used by hunters who supply pheasants to the British game meat market.
Artificial nesting platforms support population recovery of the Dalmatian pelican Pelecanus crispus along the Danube River in Bulgaria
Cheshmedzhiev S., Todorov E., Koev V., Mihov S. & Kutzarov Y. (2022), 19, 15-20
The Dalmatian pelican Pelecanus crispus is a Near Threatened species of waterbird with populations in the wetlands of the Lower Danube River. Breeding populations declined due to habitat loss and wetland drainage and conservation efforts have focused on bringing breeding Dalmatian pelicans back to their former wetland sites in Bulgaria. Since 2008, conservation efforts have focused on building artificial nesting platforms at marshes along the Lower Danube River. These efforts resulted in considerable growth of the population in the country. Between 2011 and 2021, four wooden platforms were installed at the Belene Island wetland complex (Pechina and Martvo Marshes) and the Kalimok wetland complex. All four platforms were used successfully by pelicans, resulting in the formation of two new breeding colonies and a total of 91 pairs in 2021. The majority, 88 pairs, were recorded at the Belene Island marshes, with the remainder at the Kalimok colony. The average annual breeding success was 1.17 young per pair at Peschina Marsh (occupied from 2016-2021), 0.90 at Martvo Marsh (2020-2021), and 1.33 at Kalimok (2021). The average across all three colonies was 1.14 young per pair. By 2021, the breeding population of Dalmatian pelicans in Bulgaria had grown to 131-150 breeding pairs at three locations.