Managing wild birds for improved strawberry production, pest control, and food safety outcomes in the California Central Coast

Grants and Contracts Details


Birds are increasingly viewed as food-safety hazards and pests in farmlands. Yet birds also benefit growers by consuming pests. Despite limited research into bird-induced crop damage and their inferred role as disease vectors, berry growers are often pressured to prevent birds from accessing their farms. Bird-deterrent practices— from scaring birds with sound cannons to clearing habitat— are common. The over arching project aims to: (1) identify pest, vector, and beneficial species and quantify their net economic impact on strawberry crops, (2) determine how farms could be co-managed to achieve conservation, food safety, and production goals, and (3) explore how farmers’ values and attitudes towards birds influence farming practices. Across 20 strawberry farms, we will census birds and insects, analyze fecal DNA to characterize bird diets and vector status, and combine qualitative interviews with quantitative surveys to assess grower identities, values, attitudes, and behaviors.
Effective start/end date1/1/1712/31/19


  • University of California Davis: $32,386.00


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