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January 01, 2010

The "Bird Nest Protection Project" encourages local people in the Northern Plains landscape to locate, report and monitor nest sites, and therefore reduces the exploitation of eggs and chicks by these communities. The project also increases the breeding success of threatened water birds.

This highly effective project provides benefits to local communities to conserve threatened birds. Under the project, local people are offered a reward for reporting nests, and are paid to monitor and protect the birds until the chicks successfully fledge. They receive a direct benefit at a low cost relative to the conservation benefits. The mechanism for this project is simple. If a community member locates a nest (and indicates to monitoring rangers its location) and chooses to protect the nest, they receive $2.5 per day to protect the nest, until the chicks successfully fledge. If the protected site is a colony with many nests, then two or more people protect it and receive benefits.

The wildlife monitoring manager and monitoring rangers check each protected nest and colony regularly to ensure that high quality protection effort is maintained. This enables them to verify that community nest protectors are carrying out their work as well as enabling effective monitoring of bird populations.

Efforts in previous years have indicated how successful this project can be. From 2003-2008, numbers of threatened bird nests in the Northern Plains have increased from 46 to 410 and numbers of chicks fledging from nests have increased from 53 to over 700.