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Deer browsing is bad news for birds

Deer browsing may be affecting woodland bird species on far larger scales than previously thought, new research has found.

The study, published last week in the British Ecological Society?s Journal of Applied Ecology, provides evidence that the populations of species such as nightingale and willow tit fare worse in areas that have higher numbers of deer.

The research was led by Dr Stuart Newson from the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO). He said: ?Our results emphasise the importance of developing co-ordinated national strategies for minimising the impact from deer.

?With numbers and ranges of deer predicted to expand even further, it is suggested that such strategies should be targeted at areas that continue to support concentrations of [woodland bird] species that are especially vulnerable to over-browsing by deer.?

The rest of this article appears in the 16th November issue of Shooting Times.

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