After some ‘hard’ thinking staff at the Moor Green lakes nature reserve has hit on a unique method of helping to protect herons on their site. Last year one of the staff surveyors mistook a stone for an egg and this is where CEMEX got involved!
This ‘light bulb’ moment as explained by Site Manager Joe King; “We have experienced serious problems on our reserve with rats eating so many of the herons’ eggs. Then it turned into an idea: if we could create fake nests around the reserve outside normal breeding season and fill them with concrete eggs, then the rats will have blunted their teeth by the time the real breeding season begins”.
CEMEX is now manufacturing several hundred more eggs for the RSPB and other conservation groups to use around the country and Sam Tarrant, the RSPB’s CEMEX UK biodiversity advisor, said “Our aim has always been to balance CEMEX’s part in a sustainable construction industry with environmental protection. It is great that together we are helping protect our breeding birds”. The plan is to next expand this technique to include reed warblers, water rails and bittern; species with populations suffering due to known predators.
Initial trials in 2013 found over 75% of the concrete eggs had been ‘predated’ (signs of teeth marks) and of the 8 rats caught in traps, 7 showed a significant reduction in tooth size.