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Predicting the response of farmland bird populations to agricultural change - BD1618

Description
The deleterious effects of agricultural intensification on the abundance and diversity of farmland birds are now generally accepted. MAFF has adopted as one of its eight Public Service Agreement (PSA) targets to reverse the long-term decline in the number of farmland birds by 2020 as measured annually against underlying trends - a trend is measured by the ‘farmland bird index’ that comprises 20 species.
This project will review current knowledge of the effects of agriculture on the population changes of these 20 species, to determine to what extent we can predict the demographic and management changes that will be needed in order to achieve the PSA target, and to identify where knowledge gaps still exist which either prevent predictions from being made or limit their accuracy. This predictive research will be a critical advance from qualitative descriptions of causes of bird declines and conservation requirements to quantified estimation of the habitat and food resource provision required to achieve recovery of farmland bird populations.
Objective
1. For those species for which sufficient data are available to use predictive models to quantify the changes in demographic rates and habitat management required to reverse the long-term decline of farmland birds.

2. For all 20 species, on the basis of current ecological and demographic knowledge, to provide a qualitative synopsis of (a) species-specific, and (b) generic resource requirements (e.g. food or habitat type) and to identify any knowledge gaps relating to these issues.

3. To review the degree to which current agricultural management options, both within and outside agri-environment schemes, encompass these species-specific and generic requirements, and to make immediate policy recommendations for management change available for the mid-term agri-environment review in 2003.

4. To use information derived from all the above to recommend and prioritise further ecological or demographic research required to identify, strengthen and quantify management recommendations for birds.

5. To identify and review future developments in research strategies that will be required to advance from qualitative descriptions of causes of decline and conservation requirements to quantitative predictions of the nature and scale of management changes needed to achieve conservation targets for farmland birds.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Predicting the Response of Farmland Bird Populations to Agricultural Change.   (47k)
• Final Report - Annex : Predicting the Response of Farmland Bird Populations to Agricultural Change   (3318k)
• Final Report - Annex : Predicting the Response of Farmland Bird Populations to Agricultural Change   (303k)
• Final Report - Annex : Predicting the Response of Farmland Bird Populations to Agricultural Change.   (453k)
• Final Report - Annex : Predicting the Response of Farmland Bird Populations to Agricultural Change.   (322k)
• Final Report - Annex : Predicting the Response of Farmland Bird Populations to Agricultural Change.   (1408k)
• Final Report - Annex : Predicting the Response of Farmland Bird Populations to Agricultural Change.   (197k)
• Final Report - Annex : Predicting the Response of Farmland Bird Populations to Agricultural Change.   (1304k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2001

To: 2003

Cost: £106,146
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Royal Society for Protection of Birds, British Trust For Ornithology
Keywords
Agricultural Land              
Biodiversity              
Environmental Protection              
Land              
Peer Review              
Fields of Study
Environmental Stewardship