The effectiveness of islet creation and restoration on Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta) nesting was assessed in 14 ponds (six managed islets of 140 m2 on average per managed pond) from a salt pan complex located on the coast of the Loire-Atlantique department in northwest France. A Before-After-Control-Impact design using the two years before and the two years following management was used. No nesting occurred in the control ponds that lacked suitable islets. In the managed ponds, the mean number of nests built per year in the two years following management was seven, whereas no nesting occurred in the two years before management (P = 0.002). On the basis of the number of nests built in the study site, the mean proportion of nests built each year in the managed ponds was 27%. The mean age of banded birds nesting for the first time in the managed ponds in the two years following management was 4 years, and 58% of these birds were born in the study site. These results support the hypothesis that such management actions can increase nesting opportunities in artificial habitats. These actions may provide important alternatives to birds when conditions change in previously suitable breeding grounds.
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Vol. 42 • No. 1