Mist netting shown to be safe
Posted on: 28 Jun 2011
The first large scale study into bird netting, has shown the risks of injury to be minimal.
Capturing birds using mist nets to study behaviour, movement or the demographics of a species is one of the most common research techniques in ornithology, yet until now there have been no large scale studies into the risks mist nets pose to birds.
Researchers, led by Erica Spotswood from the University of California at Berkeley, used a dataset of over 345,000 records to evaluate the risks of mist netting. Data was obtained from organisations across the United States and Canada to assess the risk factors which could increase rates of injury or mortality including bird size, age, frequency of capture and the role of predators.
The results revealed that birds are rarely injured or killed by mist nets. Of 620,997 captures the percentage of incidents of injury amounting to 0.59 per cent while only 0.23 per cent of captures resulted in mortality. The authors then began to analyse risk factors which could lead to increased incidents.