Monday, 5 January 2015

Predator control can help nesting birds: our letter to The Telegraph published

SIR – David Gardner (Letters, December 17) is right to says that it is important to maintain a balanced eco-system. Our research shows that some vulnerable bird populations benefit from reduced predation pressure during crucial times such as the breeding season.

Most conservationists agree that the breeding success of curlew, golden plover and lapwing, for example, is improved by as much as three times when generalist predators such as foxes and crows are controlled during the breeding season.

The number of declining songbirds such as spotted flycatcher, yellowhammer and chaffinch doubled during periods of predator control in the nesting season on our research farm in Leicestershire, but declined once the control was stopped.

Professor Nick Sotherton
Director of Research
Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust

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