Predator control vital protection for birds
Endangered upland bird numbers on grouse moors in the north of England would nosedive if not for the work of gamekeepers undertaking predator control, according to a new study.
A report published by Newcastle and Durham universities suggested that without keepers to prevent attacks from foxes and other predators, the number of curlew chicks hatching in these areas could fall by around 87 per cent. The number of golden plover chicks hatching, meanwhile, could drop by as much as 95 per cent with a predicted overall population decline of 79 per cent.
“We were surprised by just how dependent these birds are on the predator control provided by keepers. If that was withdrawn I would expect big falls in these species would occur within a few years,” said Professor Mark Whittingham of Newcastle University.