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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effectiveness of a targeted agri-environment scheme for corn buntings Emberiza calandra in Aberdeenshire and Fife, Scotland

Published source details

Perkins A.J., Maggs H.E., Wilson J.D., Watson A. & Smout C. (2008) Targeted management intervention reduces rate of population decline of corn buntings Emberiza calandra in eastern Scotland. Bird Study, 55, 52-58


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Pay farmers to cover the cost of conservation measures (as in agri-environment schemes) Farmland Conservation

A site comparison study of fifty-three 2 km² plots on 14 farms in southeast Scotland (Perkins et al. 2008) observed that between 2002 and 2004, the number of territorial male corn bunting Emberiza calandra fell by only 5% on plots that managed land according to the Farmland Bird Lifeline scheme, whereas numbers declined by 43% in non-Farmland Bird Lifeline plots in the same area. Between 2000 and 2002, before the 2002 introduction of the Farmland Bird Lifeline management practices, there was no observed change in the number of corn bunting on either group of plots, although plots destined to participate in the Farmland Bird Lifeline scheme did already have 33% higher densities of corn bunting than comparison plots. The Farmland Bird Lifeline scheme intended to reverse the declining numbers of corn bunting, a priority species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan. Farmers were paid for a number of interventions, including delaying mowing date, providing grass margins on arable fields, farming spring cereals and turnips at low intensity, spring cropping, leaving unharvested crop, and supplementary feeding. Fourteen farms, nine in Aberdeenshire and five in Fife, were surveyed every breeding season (late April to August) from 2000 to 2004.