This control has relaxed in recent decades and we have seen a substantial increase in the numbers of some species as a consequence. Corvid control has also been used, in combination with other predators, to conserve some local threatened bird.
Until recently most gamekeepers believed that corvid traps were ineffectual. Since the GWCT believes in continually developing and refining techniques to ensure they are appropriate and effective so we took the initiative in the 1990’s and researched trap effectiveness and showed that corvid traps were a very successful tool; especially when used with a live decoy bird which also made them extremely species-specific.
The GWCT used Larsen live capture traps as part of the conservation ‘toolbox’ in its scientific predator removal studies at Salisbury Plain, Otterburn, Loddington, and Royston. These revealed the heavy impact of common predators on wild gamebirds, waders and songbirds.
The ongoing popularity of this humane and effective means of controlling corvids is its highly portable nature so it can be used for short periods of time during the breeding season and non-target captures can be promptly released unharmed.
Larsen trap use
Besides conservation of wild bird species, there are several other reasons (such as the protection of livestock or livestock feed and food hygiene) why people may lawfully trap corvids.
These are all clearly defined in the General Licence and GWCT factsheets provide more information on how to use traps effectively.
Any trap must be used by; the right people, in the right places, at the right time, under the right circumstances