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Could game management have a role in the conservation of farmland passerines? A case study from a Leicestershire farm

Bird Study

Abstract

The management of wild gamebirds for shooting involves a combination of habitat management (woodland, field boundaries and grime crops), winter feeding and control of potential nest predators, airy of which could benefit other birds, including nationally declining species associated with farmland habitats. Changes ill numbers of passerines were monitored over six years ill relation to genie management oil farmland ill Leicestershire. Nest success was monitored over four years and, for sortie species, was inversely related to abundance of breeding corvids. Abundance of breeding passerines increased during the period of game management. Species whose breeding populations have declined nationally (coincident with agricultural intensification) showed the greatest increases ill abundance relative both to other species, and to the same nationally declining species ill nearby farmland. The precise mechanism by which the game management package contributes to increased breeding numbers is riot understood and is likely to differ between species. However; these results show that further integration of wild game management into farming systems could have conservation benefits for nationally declining farmland birds.

Author(s): Stoate, C; Szczur, J

Journal: Bird Study

Year: 2001

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