Predator management for breeding waders: a review of current evidence and priority knowledge gaps

Rebecca Laidlaw, Jennifer Smart, Harry Ewing, Samantha Franks, Heinrich Belting, Lynda Donaldson, Geoff Hilton, Nicola Hiscock, Andrew Hoodless, Baz Hughes, Nigel Jarrett, Rosemarie Kentie, Erik Kleyheeg, Rebecca Lee, Maja Roodbergen, Dawn Scott, Mike Short, Evgeny Syroeschkovskiy, Wolf Teunissen, Hannah WardGraham White, Jennifer Gill

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Rapid declines in breeding wader populations across the world have prompted the development of a series of conservation tools, many of which are designed to influence productivity. Across western Europe, efforts to reverse population declines are typically limited by high levels of nest and chick predation, and managing this predator impact has been a major research focus in the last two decades. A workshop held at the 2019 International Wader Study Group conference aimed to synthesise current understanding of predator management tools and to use expert knowledge to identify and prioritise important knowledge gaps in this area. Here we review the four predator management tools that were described (predator diversion, exclusion, lethal control and headstarting), together with insights into the potential responses of mammalian predators to these management tools. The expert assessment of important areas for future work highlighted the need to: (1) increase our knowledge of predators and their responses to management interventions; (2) ensure our science connects to policy, practitioners and members of the public; and (3) establish clear and consistent goals for the future of breeding wader populations to inform the development and deployment of these management tools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-55
Number of pages12
JournalWader Study
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021


  • Habitat manipulation
  • Headstarting
  • Lethal control
  • Predation
  • Predator diversion
  • Predator exclusion

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