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Monitoring the response of farmland birds to Environmental Stewardship - LM0436

Reversing the decline in farmland bird populations is a targeted outcome of ES, and will remain a key priority for its successor AES in England. This project includes three modules of work that will evaluate the effectiveness of ES as a delivery mechanism for farmland birds. They are:

1. assessing the effects of ES management on farmland bird populations across England up to summer 2013 using national BBS data,

2. quantifying the effectiveness of the ES options EF23 and HF24, and

3. assessing the role corvids and woodpigeon in limiting the utility of wild bird seed mixtures for target seed -eating bird species.
Ther objectives for the project are:

1: Impacts of Environmental Stewardship on farmland and woodland bird populations, 2005-2013
1.1To update the analyses conducted by Baker et al. (2012) to incorporate three further years of BBS data and ES management, and to consider further combinations of options.
1.2To conduct equivalent analyses of the effects of the new management that has been in place under ES since 2010 and of other historical management relevant to the management planned for NELMS.
1.3To interpret the results of work towards Objectives 1 and 2 in respect of the implications for effects of NELMS on bird populations.

2: Effectiveness of winter supplementary feeding options in ES
2.1To measure the use of EF23 and HF24 supplementary seed food by birds relative to the local abundance of each species.
2.2To interpret the bird behavioural responses to EF23 and HF24, and the geographical distribution of the management, in respect of its likely influence on farmland bird population trends.

3: Wild Bird Seed Mixtures: seed depletion by and competition from corvids and woodpigeons
3.1To assess whether the utility of Environmental Stewardship (ES) wild bird seed mixtures for priority farmland bird species is limited through competition or resource depletion associated with non-target species (such as corvids and woodpigeons).
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : LM0436 Final Report   (1538k)
• SUP - Supplementary Report : LM0436 ES supplementary   (811k)
• TPS - Two Page Summary : LM0436 2 page summary   (246k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2013

To: 2014

Cost: £148,680
Contractor / Funded Organisations
British Trust For Ornithology (BTO)