Pre­da­tion and song­bird de­clines:

what’s the ev­i­dence?

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - News Feature -

A study pub­lished in The Auk, in 2010, ar­gued that in­creas­ing num­bers of, and pre­da­tion by, spar­rowhawks since the 1970s “may be suf­fi­cient ex­pla­na­tion for” the de­cline of house spar­rows.

Re­searchers from the BTO car­ried out a more ex­ten­sive study into the im­pact of a suite of preda­tors on 29 species, mainly song­birds. They found no ef­fect on 22 species, with the pos­si­ble im­pact of spar­rowhawks on bullfinche­s, reed buntings and tree spar­rows “most wor­thy of fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion”.

Kestrels and grey squir­rels were also found to have a neg­a­tive ef­fect on nuthatches and tree spar­rows, and wrens and black­birds ( above), re­spec­tively.

Re­search pub­lished in the Jour­nal of Ap­plied Ecol­ogy in 2013 found the pres­ence of do­mes­tic cats and grey squir­rels caused black­birds to re­duce pro­vi­sion­ing of their chicks by up to a third.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.