1. About this book

© Book Authors, CC BY 4.0 https://doi.org/10.11647/OBP.0234.01

The Conservation Evidence project

The Conservation Evidence project has four main parts:

  1. The synopses of the evidence captured for the conservation of particular species groups or habitats, such as this synopsis. Synopses bring together the evidence for each possible intervention. They are freely available online and, in some cases, available to purchase in printed book form.
  2. An ever‐expanding database of summaries of previously published scientific papers, reports, reviews or systematic reviews that document the effects of interventions. This resource comprises over 6,616 pieces of evidence, all available in a searchable database on the website www.conservationevidence.com.
  3. What Works in Conservation, which is an assessment of the effectiveness of interventions by expert panels, based on the collated evidence for each intervention for each species group or habitat covered by our synopses. This is available as part of the searchable database and is published as an updated book edition each year (www.conservationevidence.com/content/page/79).
  4. An online, open access journal: Conservation Evidence publishes new pieces of research on the effects of conservation management interventions. All our papers are written by, or in conjunction with, those who carried out the conservation work and include some monitoring of its effects (http://conservationevidencejournal.com/).

The purpose of Conservation Evidence synopses

Conservation Evidence synopses do

Conservation Evidence synopses do not

  • Bring together scientific evidence captured by the Conservation Evidence project (over 6,616 studies so far) on the effects of interventions to conserve biodiversity
  • Include evidence on the basic ecology of species or habitats, or threats to them
  • List all realistic interventions for the species group or habitat in question, regardless of how much evidence for their effects is available
  • Make any attempt to weight or prioritize interventions according to their importance or the size of their effects
  • Describe each piece of evidence, including methods, as clearly as possible, allowing readers to assess the quality of evidence
  • Weight or numerically evaluate the evidence according to its quality
  • Work in partnership with conservation practitioners, policymakers and scientists to develop the list of interventions and ensure we have covered the most important literature
  • Provide recommendations for conservation problems, but instead provide scientific information to help with decision-making

Who this synopsis is for

If you are reading this, we hope you are someone who has to make decisions about how best to support or conserve biodiversity. You might be a land manager, a conservationist in the public or private sector, a farmer, a campaigner, an advisor or consultant, a policymaker, a researcher or someone taking action to protect your own local wildlife. Our synopses summarize scientific evidence relevant to your conservation objectives and the actions you could take to achieve them.

We do not aim to make your decisions for you, but to support your decision‐making by telling you what evidence there is (or isn’t) about the effects that your planned actions could have.

When decisions have to be made with particularly important consequences, we recommend carrying out a systematic review, as the latter is likely to be more comprehensive than the summary of evidence presented here. Guidance on how to carry out systematic reviews can be found from the Centre for Evidence‐Based Conservation at the University of Bangor (www.cebc.bangor.ac.uk).


At present, more than 6,300 extant mammal species are known to science (Burgin et al. 2018). They inhabit most of the planet’s habitats and, following a commonly observed biogeographic pattern, increase in diversity with increasing proximity to the equator and peak in tropical regions (Schipper et al. 2008). Mammals are key providers of crucial ecosystem roles, such as herbivory, predation and seed dispersal, and they generate numerous benefits to human well-being (e.g. food, recreation and income; Schipper et al. 2008). Yet, over the last few decades, direct and indirect drivers of population decline, such as habitat loss, overexploitation, pollution and the impact of invasive species, have led to widespread declines in mammal population sizes and ranges (Ceballos et al. 2017; Ripple et al. 2017).

The fragile status of our mammalian fauna was reflected in the last complete IUCN assessment of the conservation status of the group, which revealed that at least one-fifth of all mammal species are currently at risk of extinction in the wild (Schipper et al. 2008). Extinction risks are particularly high in large-bodied species and, although the decline in mammal populations is a global pattern, the conservation status of mammal species in the Indomalayan and Australasian realms is deteriorating the fastest (Hoffmann et al. 2011). Conservation efforts have managed to counteract some of these population declines and, in some instances, even prevent species extinctions (Hoffmann et al. 2015). In fact, habitat protection and management, legal protection, and ex-situ conservation followed by reintroduction have contributed to the improvement of the conservation status of at least 24 species of mammal (Hoffmann et al. 2011). Furthermore, without conservation efforts at least 148 ungulates would have deteriorated in their IUCN red list category placement, including six species that would now likely be extinct in the wild (Hoffmann et al. 2015).

Evidence-based knowledge is key for planning successful conservation strategies and for the cost-effective allocation of scarce conservation resources. Targeted reviews have already collated evidence on the effects of particular interventions aimed at improving the conservation status of mammals. For example, a recent review of management practices for feral cats Felis catus in Australia has shown that the establishment of predator‐free refuges on offshore islands, or within fenced mainland enclosures, has been crucial for the conservation of numerous threatened Australian mammals (Doherty et al. 2017). However, most conservation interventions targeting mammals have not yet been synthesised within a formal review and those that have could benefit from periodic update in light of new research.

Targeted reviews are labour-intensive and expensive. Furthermore, they are ill-suited for areas where the data are scarce and patchy. Here, we use a subject-wide evidence synthesis approach (Sutherland et al. 2019) to simultaneously summarize the evidence for the wide range of interventions dedicated to the conservation of all terrestrial mammals (excluding bats and primates). By simultaneously targeting the entire body of interventions, we are able to review the evidence for each intervention cost-effectively, and the resulting synopsis can be updated periodically and efficiently. The synopsis is freely available at www.conservationevidence.com and, alongside the Conservation Evidence online database, is a valuable asset to the toolkit of practitioners and policy makers seeking sound information to support mammal conservation. We aim to periodically update the synopsis to incorporate new research. The methods used to produce the Terrestrial Mammal Conservation Synopsis are outlined below.

Scope of the Terrestrial Mammal Conservation synopsis

Review subject

This synopsis focuses on the evidence for the effectiveness of global interventions for the conservation of terrestrial mammals, excluding bats and primates, each of which are covered in separate synopses (Berthinussen et al. 2019; Junker et al. 2017). It also excludes all species within mammal families comprised primarily of marine species, namely cetaceans (whales, dolphins and allies), pinnipeds (seals, sea lions and walruses) and sirenians (manatees and dugong). These are being covered in a separate synopsis. The Terrestrial Mammal Conservation synopsis was produced using a subject-wide evidence synthesis approach. This is defined as a systematic method of evidence synthesis that covers entire subjects at once (e.g. bird or forest conservation), including all review topics within that subject (e.g. the effects of each conservation intervention) at a fine scale and analysing results through study summary and expert assessment, or through meta-analysis; the term can also refer to any product arising from this process (Sutherland et al. 2019).

This synthesis covers evidence for the effects of conservation interventions for wild terrestrial mammals. We have not included evidence from the literature on husbandry of captive terrestrial mammals, such as those kept in zoos. However, where interventions carried out in captivity are relevant to the conservation of wild declining or threatened species, they were included, e.g. captive breeding for the purpose of reintroductions. For this synthesis, conservation interventions include management measures that aim to conserve wild terrestrial mammal populations and ameliorate the deleterious effects of threats. The output of the project is an authoritative, freely accessible evidence-base that will support mammal conservation objectives with the latest evidence and help to achieve conservation outcomes.

Advisory board

An advisory board made up of international conservationists and academics with expertise in terrestrial mammal conservation has been formed. These experts inputted into the synopsis at two key stages: a) producing the comprehensive list of conservation interventions for review, and b) reviewing the draft evidence synthesis. The advisory board is listed above and online (https://www.conservationevidence.com/content/page/119).

Creating the list of interventions

At the start of the project, a comprehensive list of interventions was developed by searching the literature and in partnership with the advisory board. The list was also checked by Conservation Evidence to ensure that it followed the standard structure.

The aim was to include all interventions that have been carried out or advised to support populations or communities of wild terrestrial mammals (excluding bats and primates), whether evidence for the effectiveness of an intervention is available or not. During the synthesis process further interventions were discovered and integrated into the synopsis structure.

The list of interventions was organized into categories based on the IUCN classifications of direct threats: (https://www.iucnredlist.org/resources/threat-classification-scheme) and conservation actions: (https://www.iucnredlist.org/resources/conservation-actions-classification-scheme).

In total, we found 294 conservation and/or management interventions that could be carried out to conserve terrestrial mammal (excluding bats and primates) populations. The evidence was reported as 1,261 summaries from 935 relevant publications found during our searches (see Methods below).


Literature searches

Literature was obtained from the Conservation Evidence discipline-wide literature database, and from searches of additional subject-specific literature sources (see Appendix 1). The Conservation Evidence discipline-wide literature database is compiled using systematic searches of journals (all titles and abstracts) and report series (‘grey literature’); relevant publications describing studies of conservation interventions for all species groups and habitats were saved from each and were added to the database. The final list of evidence sources searched for this synopsis is published in this synopsis document (see Appendix 1), and the full list of journals and report series is published online (https://www.conservationevidence.com/journalsearcher/synopsis).

a) Global evidence

Evidence from all around the world was included.

b) Languages included

The following non-English journals published in Spanish and Portuguese were searched and relevant papers extracted.

  • Therya Vol. 1, Issue 1 (2010) — Vol. 8, Issue 3 (2017)
  • Galemys Vol. 1 (2011) — Vol. 7 (2017)
  • Boletim da Sociedade Brasileira de Mastozoologia Vol. 66 (2013) — Vol. 78 (2017)
  • Mastozoologia Neotropical Vol. 1, Issue 1 (1994) — Vol. 24, Issue 1 (2017)
  • Mammalogy Notes Vol. 1, Issue 1 (2014) — Vol. 4, Issue 1 (2017)
  • Revista Mexicana de Mastozoología Vol. 1 (1995) — Vol. 7, Issue 2 (2017)

All other journals searched are published in English or at least carry English summaries (see below). A recent study on the topic of language barriers in global science indicates that approximately 35% of conservation studies may be in non-English languages (Amano et al. 2016). While searching only a small number of non-English language journals may therefore potentially introduce some bias to the review process, project resources and time constraints determined the number of journals that could be searched within the project timeframe.

c) Journals searched


From Conservation Evidence discipline-wide literature database

All of the journals (and years) listed in Appendix 1 were searched prior to or during the completion of this project by authors of other synopses, and relevant papers added to the Conservation Evidence discipline-wide literature database. An asterisk indicates the journals most relevant to this synopsis. Others are less likely to include papers relevant to this synopsis, but if they did, those papers were summarised.


Update searches

The authors of this synopsis updated the search of the following journals:

  • Hystrix, the Italian Journal of Mammalogy (2014–2016)
  • Journal of Mammalogy (2013–2017)
  • Mammal Review (2013–2017)
  • Mammal Study (2013–2017)
  • Mammalia (2013–2017)
  • Mammalian Biology (2013–2017)


New searches

Additional, focussed searches of journals most relevant to the conservation of terrestrial mammal populations listed in Appendix 1 were undertaken. These journals were identified through expert judgement by the project researchers and the advisory board.

  • Acta Theriologica (1997–2014)
  • Australian Mammalogy (2000–2017)
  • Biotropica (1990–2017)
  • Mammal Research (2001–2017)

d) Reports from specialist websites searched


From Conservation Evidence discipline-wide literature database

All report series (and years) below have already been systematically searched for the Conservation Evidence project. An asterisk indicates the report series most relevant to this synopsis. Others are less likely to have included reports relevant to this synopsis but, if they did, they have been summarised.

  • Amphibian Survival Alliance 1994–2012 Vol 9–Vol 104
  • British Trust for Ornithology 1981–2016 Report 1–687
  • IUCN Invasive Species Specialist Group 1995–2013 Vol 1–Vol 33
  • Scottish Natural Heritage* 2004–2015 Reports 1–945


    Update searches

Updated searches of report series already searched as part of the wider Conservation Evidence project were not undertaken for this synopsis.

No new report searches were undertaken for this synopsis due to time constraints.

e) Other literature searches

The online database (www.conservationevidence.com) was searched for relevant publications that have already been summarised. If such summaries existed, they were extracted and added to this synopsis update.

Where a systematic review was found for an intervention, if the intervention had a small literature (<20 papers), all available English language publications including the systematic review were summarised. If the intervention had a large literature (≥20 papers), then only the systematic review was summarised. Where a non-systematic review (or editorial, synthesis, preface, introduction etc.) was found for an intervention, all relevant and accessible English language publications referenced within it were included, but the review itself was not summarised. However, if the review also provided new/collective data, then the review itself was also included/summarised. Relevant publications cited in other publications summarised for the synopsis were not included (due to time restrictions).

f) Supplementary literature identified by advisory board or relevant stakeholders

Relevant papers or reports suggested by the advisory board or relevant stakeholders were also included, if relevant.

g) Search record database

A database was created of all relevant publications found during searches. Reasons for exclusion were recorded for all studies included during screening but not summarised for the synopsis.

Publication screening and inclusion criteria

a) Screening

We acknowledge that the literature search and screening method used by Conservation Evidence, as with any method, results in gaps in the evidence. The Conservation Evidence literature database currently includes relevant papers from over 270 English language journals as well as over 150 non-English journals. Additional journals are frequently added to those searched, and years searched are often updated. It is possible that searchers will have missed relevant papers from those journals searched. Publication bias, where studies reporting negative or non-significant findings are less likely to be written up and published in journals (e.g. Dwan et al. 2013), will not be taken into account, and it is likely that additional biases will result from the evidence that is available. For example, there are often geographic biases in study locations.

b) Inclusion criteria

The following Conservation Evidence inclusion criteria were used.


There has to be an intervention that conservationists would be likely to do.


Its effects on biodiversity or ecosystem services must have been monitored quantitatively.

If the intervention can be used for conservation purposes, but is being done for a different purpose in the study in question, it should be included, provided the details of the intervention are the same and the effects on biodiversity or ecosystem services have been monitored.

For example, methods to rear bumblebees in captivity for commercial pollination have been used to support conservation of rare bumblebees. All studies testing these methods were included in our bee synopsis. Another example is the construction of artificial wetlands for amphibian conservation. Studies that monitor amphibian numbers in wetlands constructed largely for recreational purposes were included.

Interventions for captive animals are only included if they are directly relevant to the conservation of native wild species, e.g. breeding animals in captivity for release into natural habitats, or trials of animals’ responses to interventions designed to reduce human-wildlife conflict.

Modelling studies that do not actually test the intervention vs a control on the ground are not included.

c) Relevant subject

Studies relevant to the synopsis subject were those focused on the conservation of wild, native terrestrial mammals (excluding bats and primates). All mammals belonging to groups that are primarily comprised of marine species (cetaceans, pinnipeds and sirenians) were also excluded. For the remaining mammal groups, all species were deemed relevant for this synopsis, including those that may spend most of their time in water (e.g. sea otter Enhydra lutris).

d) Relevant types of intervention

An intervention has to be one that could be put in place by a manager, conservationist, policy maker, advisor or consultant to protect, manage, restore or reduce the impacts of threats to wild, native terrestrial mammals. Alternatively, interventions may aim to change human behaviour (actual or intentional), which is likely to protect, manage, restore or reduce threats to terrestrial mammal populations.

If the following two criteria were met, a combined intervention was created within the synopsis, rather than repeating evidence under all the separate interventions: a) there are five or more publications that use the same well-defined combination of interventions, with very clear description of what they were, without separating the effects of each individual intervention, and b) the combined set of interventions is a commonly used conservation strategy.

e) Relevant types of comparator

To determine the effectiveness of interventions, studies must include a comparison, i.e. monitoring change over time (typically before and after the intervention was implemented), or for example at treatment and control sites. Alternatively, a study could compare one specific intervention (or implementation method) against another. For example, this could be comparing the abundance of a mammal species before and after woodland is restored, or the reduction in mammal mortality at roads with different underpass designs.

Exceptions, which may not have a control but were still included, are for example the effectiveness of captive breeding or rehabilitation programmes or use made of nest boxes for arboreal mammals or of wildlife overpasses across roads.

f) Relevant types of outcome

Below we provide a list of included metrics:

  • Community response
    • Community composition
    • Richness/diversity
  • Population response
    • Abundance: mammal activity (relative abundance), number, presence/absence
    • Reproductive success: mating success, birth rate, infant survival
    • Survival: survival, mortality
    • Condition: body mass, weight, size, forearm length, disease symptoms
  • Behaviour
    • Uptake
    • Use
    • Behaviour change: movement, range, timing (e.g. emergence, foraging period)
  • Other
    • Human-wildlife conflict
    • Human behaviour change
    • Genetic diversity

g) Relevant types of study design

The table below lists the study designs included. The strongest evidence comes from randomized, replicated, controlled trials with paired-sites and before-and-after monitoring.

Table 1. Study designs




The intervention was repeated on more than one individual or site. In conservation and ecology, the number of replicates is much smaller than it would be for medical trials (when thousands of individuals are often tested). If the replicates are sites, pragmatism dictates that between five and ten replicates is a reasonable amount of replication, although more would be preferable. We provide the number of replicates wherever possible. Replicates should reflect the number of times an intervention has been independently carried out, from the perspective of the study subject. For example, 10 plots within a mown field might be independent replicates from the perspective of plants with limited dispersal, but not independent replicates for larger motile animals such as birds. In the case of translocations/release of captive bred animals, replicates should be sites, not individuals.


The intervention was allocated randomly to individuals or sites. This means that the initial condition of those given the intervention is less likely to bias the outcome.

Paired sites

Sites are considered in pairs, within which one was treated with the intervention and the other was not. Pairs, or blocks, of sites are selected with similar environmental conditions, such as soil type or surrounding landscape. This approach aims to reduce environmental variation and make it easier to detect a true effect of the intervention.


Individuals or sites treated with the intervention are compared with control individuals or sites not treated with the intervention. (The treatment is usually allocated by the investigators (randomly or not), such that the treatment or control groups/sites could have received the treatment).


Monitoring of effects was carried out before and after the intervention was imposed.

Site comparison*

A study that considers the effects of interventions by comparing sites that historically had different interventions (e.g. intervention vs no intervention) or levels of intervention. Unlike controlled studies, it is not clear how the interventions were allocated to sites (i.e. the investigators did not allocate the treatment to some of the sites).


A conventional review of literature. Generally, these have not used an agreed search protocol or quantitative assessments of the evidence.

Systematic review

A systematic review follows an agreed set of methods for identifying studies and carrying out a formal ‘meta-analysis’. It will weight or evaluate studies according to the strength of evidence they offer, based on the size of each study and the rigour of its design. All environmental systematic reviews are available at: www.environmentalevidence.org/index.htm.


If none of the above apply, for example a study measuring change over time in only one site and only after an intervention. Or a study measuring use of nest boxes at one site.

* Note that ‘controlled’ is mutually exclusive from ‘site comparison’. A comparison cannot be both controlled and a site comparison. However, one study might contain both controlled and site comparison aspects e.g. study of fertilized grassland, compared to unfertilized plots (controlled) and natural, target grassland (site comparison).

Study quality assessment & critical appraisal

We did not quantitatively assess the evidence from each publication or weight it according to quality. However, to allow interpretation of the evidence, we made the sample size and design of each study we reported clear.

We critically appraised each potentially relevant study and excluded those that did not provide data for a comparison to the treatment, did not statistically analyse the results (or if included it was stated in the summary paragraph that statistical analysis was not carried out) or had obvious errors in their design or analysis. A record of the reason for excluding any of the publications included during screening was kept within the synopsis database.

Data extraction

Data on the effectiveness of the relevant intervention (e.g. mean species abundance inside or outside a protected area; reduction in mortality after installation of an overpass) were extracted from, and summarised for, publications that included the relevant subject, types of intervention, comparator and outcomes outlined above. The total number of publications included following data extraction is 931.

At the start of each month, authors swapped three summaries with another author to ensure that the correct type of data had been extracted and that the summary followed the Conservation Evidence standard format.

Evidence synthesis

a) Summary protocol

Each publication usually had just one paragraph for each intervention it tested describing the study. Summaries were in plain English and, where possible, were no more than 150 words long, though more complex studies required longer summaries. Each summary used the following format:


Type of study — see terms and order in Table 1.

Site context — for the sake of brevity, only nuances essential to the interpretation of the results are included. The reader is always encouraged to read the original source to get a full understanding of the study site (e.g. history of management, physical conditions, landscape context).

For example:

A controlled study in 2008 of a grassland and woodland site in Nevada, USA (1) found that reducing grazing intensity by long-term exclusion of domestic livestock resulted in a higher species richness and abundance of small mammals. More small mammal species were recorded on ungrazed land (six) than on grazed land (four). Small mammal abundance on ungrazed land (0.08 animals/trap night) was higher than on grazed land (0.05 animals/trap night). Three species were caught in sufficient quantities for individual analyses. The Great Basin pocket mouse Perognathus parvus was more abundant on ungrazed than grazed land (0.05 vs 0.02 individuals/trap night) as was western jumping mouse Zapus princeps (0.02 vs 0.00 individuals/trap night). Deer mice Peromyscus maniculatus showed no preference (0.01 vs 0.01 individuals/trap night). Sampling occurred in a 10-ha enclosure, characterised by mixed shrubs and trees, from which domestic livestock were excluded at least 50 years previously and in a similar sized, adjacent cattle-grazed grassland. Small mammals were sampled using lines of snap-traps, over three or four nights, in July 2008.

(1) Rickart E.A., Bienek K.G. & Rowe R.J. (2013) Impact of livestock grazing on plant and small mammal communities in the Ruby Mountains, northeastern Nevada. Western North American Naturalist, 73, 505–515.

A replicated study in 1999–2004 in a wetland on an island in Catalonia, Spain (2) found that all 69 bat boxes of two different designs were used by soprano pipistrelles Pipistrellus pygmaeus with an average occupancy rate of 71%. During at least one of the four breeding seasons recorded, 96% of boxes were occupied and occupation rates by females with pups increased from 15% in 2000 to 53% in 2003. Bat box preferences were detected in the breeding season only, with higher abundance in east-facing bat boxes (average 22 bats/box) compared to west-facing boxes (12 bats/box), boxes with double compartments (average 25 bats/box) compared to single compartments (12 bats/box) and boxes placed on posts (average 18 bats/box) and houses (average 12 bats/box). Abundance was low in bat boxes on trees (average 2 bats/box). A total of 69 wooden bat boxes (10 cm deep × 19 cm wide × 20 cm high) of two types (44 single and 25 double compartment) were placed on three supports (10 trees, 29 buildings and 30 electricity posts) facing east and west. From July 2000 to February 2004, the boxes were checked on 16 occasions. Bats were counted in boxes or upon emergence when numbers were too numerous to count within the box.

(2) Flaquer C., Torre I. & Ruiz-Jarillo R. (2006) The value of bat-boxes in the conservation of Pipistrellus pygmaeus in wetland rice paddies. Biological Conservation, 128, 223–230.

b) Terminology used to describe the evidence

Unless specifically stated otherwise, results reflect statistical tests performed on the data, i.e. we only state that there was a difference if it was a significant difference or state that there was no difference if it was not significant. Table 1 above defines the terms used to describe the study designs.

c) Dealing with multiple interventions within a publication

When separate results are provided for the effects of each of the different interventions tested, separate summaries have been written under each intervention heading. However, when several interventions were carried out at the same time and only the combined effect reported, the results were described with a similar paragraph under all relevant interventions. The first sentence makes it clear that there was a combination of interventions carried out, i.e. ‘… (REF) found that [x intervention], along with [y] and [z interventions] resulted in [describe effects]’. Within the results section we also added a sentence such as: ‘It is not clear whether these effects were a direct result of [x], [y] or [z] interventions’, or ‘The study does not distinguish between the effects of [x], and other interventions carried out at the same time: [y] and [z].’

d) Dealing with multiple publications reporting the same results

If two publications described results from the same intervention implemented in the same space and at the same time, we only included the most stringently peer-reviewed publication (i.e. journal of the highest impact factor). If one included initial results (e.g. after year one) of another (e.g. after 1–3 years), we only included the publication covering the longest time span. If two publications described at least partially different results, we included both but made it clear they were from the same project in the paragraph, e.g. ‘A controlled study… (Gallagher et al. 1999; same experimental set-up as Oasis et al. 2001)…’.

e) Taxonomy

Taxonomy was not updated but followed that used in the original publication. Where possible, common names and Latin names were both given the first time each species was mentioned within each summary.

f) Key messages

Each intervention for which evidence is found has a set of concise, bulleted key messages at the top, which was written once all the literature had been summarised. These include information such as the number, design and location of studies included.

The first bullet point describes the total number of studies that tested the intervention and the locations of the studies, followed by key information on the relevant metrics presented under the headings and sub-headings shown below (with number of relevant studies in parentheses for each).

  • X studies examined the effects of [INTERVENTION] on [TARGET POPULATION]. Y studies were in [LOCATION 1]1,2 and Z studies were in [LOCATION 2]3,4.
    • Locations will usually be countries, ordered based on chronological order of studies rather than alphabetically, i.e. ‘USA1, Australia2’ rather than ‘Australia2, USA1’. However, when more than 4–5 separate countries, they may be grouped into regions to make it clearer e.g. Europe, North America. The distribution of studies amongst habitat types may also be added here if relevant.


  • Community composition (x studies):
  • Richness/diversity (x studies):


  • Abundance (x studies):
  • Reproductive success (x studies):
  • Survival (x studies):
  • Condition (x studies):


  • Uptake (x studies):
  • Use (x studies):
  • Behaviour change (x studies):

OTHER (x STUDIES) (Included only for interventions/chapters where relevant)

  • [Sub-heading(s) for the metric(s) reported will be created] (x studies): If no evidence was found for an intervention, the following text was added in place of the key messages above:
  • We found no studies that evaluated the effects of [INTERVENTION] on [TARGET POPULATION].
‘We found no studies’ means that we have not yet found any studies that have directly evaluated this intervention during our systematic journal and report searches. Therefore, we have no evidence to indicate whether or not the intervention has any desirable or harmful effects.

g) Background information

Background information for an intervention is provided to describe the intervention and where we feel recent knowledge is required to interpret the evidence. This is presented before the key messages and relevant references included in the reference list at the end of the intervention section. In some cases, where a body of literature has strong implications for terrestrial mammal conservation, but does not directly test interventions for their effects, we may also refer the reader to this literature in the background sections.

Dissemination/communication of evidence synthesis

The information from this synopsis update will be available in three ways:

  • This synopsis pdf, downloadable from www.conservationevidence.com, which contains the study summaries, key messages and background information on each intervention.
  • The searchable database at www.conservationevidence.com, which contains all the summarized information from the synopsis, along with updated expert assessment scores.
  • A chapter in What Works in Conservation, available as a pdf to download and a book from www.conservationevidence.com/content/page/79, which contains the key messages from the synopsis as well as updated expert assessment scores on the effectiveness and certainty of the synopsis, with links to the online database.

How you can help to change conservation practice

If you know of evidence relating to terrestrial mammal conservation that is not included in this synopsis, we invite you to contact us via our website www.conservationevidence.com. You can submit a published study by clicking ‘Submit additional evidence’ on the right-hand side of an intervention page. If you have new, unpublished evidence, you can submit a paper to the Conservation Evidence journal. We particularly welcome papers submitted by conservation practitioners.


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Berthinussen A., Richardson O.C. & Altringham J.D. (2019) Bat Conservation: Global Evidence for the Effects of Interventions. Synopses of Conservation Evidence Series. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Burgin C.J., Colella J.P., Kahn P.L. & Upham N.S. (2018) How many species of mammals are there? Journal of Mammalogy, 99, 1–11, https://doi.org/10.1093/jmammal/gyx147

Ceballos G., Ehrlich P.R. & Dirzo, R. (2017) Biological annihilation via the ongoing sixth mass extinction signaled by vertebrate population losses and declines. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114, E6089–E6096, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1704949114

Doherty T.S., Dickman C.R., Johnson C.N., Legge S.M., Ritchie E.G & Woinarski J.C.Z. (2017) Impacts and management of feral cats Felis catus in Australia. Mammal Review, 47, 83–97, https://doi.org/10.1111/mam.12080

Dwan, K., Gamble, C., Williamson, P.R., & Kirkham, J.J., (2013) Systematic review of the empirical evidence of study publication bias and outcome reporting bias—an updated review. PloS ONE 8(7), e66844, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0066844

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