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Wildlife Conservation on Farmland Volume 2Conflict in the countryside$
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David W. Macdonald and Ruth E. Feber

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198745501

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198745501.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 07 December 2021

In the wake of buzzards

In the wake of buzzards

from modelling to conservation and management in a changing landscape

(p.203) Chapter 10 In the wake of buzzards
Wildlife Conservation on Farmland Volume 2

Eduardo Arraut

David W. Macdonald

Robert E. Kenward

Oxford University Press

After 600 years of persecution, during which dramatic population fluctuations occurred, common buzzards are increasing in abundance and recolonizing most of lowland UK. But recovery is bringing them to the heart of a controversy. Once again, game-managers and poultry farmers blame buzzards for killing stock and thus harming livelihoods. To better understand buzzard biology and assess their impact on wildlife and domestic stock, field data and well-established and innovative modelling techniques were used. It was noted that phylopatry resulted in a naturally slow rate of buzzard population expansion, while habitat availability now limits population abundance. The impact of buzzard predations on released pheasants was found be variable but typically small, and it was also found that high predation can be reduced with simple pen management measures. Licensed translocation of ‘problem’ buzzards may also be an option, but only if accompanied by improvements in management to avert re-colonizing buzzards from also developing a livelihood-harming diet. The worry is, however, that concern about translocation of raptors risks diverting public opinion from the more serious issues of poor land use and climate change.

Keywords:   common buzzards, population biology, phylopatry, translocation of raptors, habitat management, pen management, persecution, empirical modelling, individual-based modelling, climate change

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