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RSPB admits predator control benefits birds

The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) has welcomed a new study from the RSPB, which reveals a link between predator numbers and the decline in the number of upland waders, reports Will Finch.

Published in the scientific journal Bird Study, the RSPB’s work looked at five wading bird species and examined population changes across upland habitats. The RSPB stated: ?Declines in lapwing numbers were greatest in areas dominated by heather. For this species, links to predation were also identified. Regionally, lapwing populations fared better on areas with more intensive grouse moor management (a management practice involving predator control and heatherburning) and worse where there were high crow numbers.?

The study also stated that golden plover suffered the greatest declines in areas where grouse moor management was more intensive. However, the GWCT claims that its findings from the recent nine-year Upland Predation Research project at Otterburn indicated, for the first time, that the control of common predators significantly improved the breeding success of curlew, lapwing and golden plover.

The rest of this article appears in 23rd February issue of Shooting Times.

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