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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: The direct and indirect effects of predation by Hen Harriers Circus cyaneus on trends in breeding birds on a Scottish grouse moor

Published source details

Baines D., Redpath S., Richardson M. & Thirgood S. (2008) The direct and indirect effects of predation by Hen Harriers Circus cyaneus on trends in breeding birds on a Scottish grouse moor. Ibis, 150, 27-36


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

Enforce legislation to protect birds against persecution Farmland Conservation

A before-and-after study on a grouse moor in Dumfries and Galloway, south Scotland (Baines et al. 2008), found that the numbers of hen harriers Circus cyaneus and peregrine falcons Falco peregrinus increased after birds were given full protection from persecution in 1990 (harriers increased from two pairs in 1992 to 20 pairs in 1997, whilst  peregrines increased from two to six pairs). However, following the discontinuation of moor management in 2000, harriers declined again to two to four pairs in 2003-2006. Both species were legally protected since 1961, but until 1990 many were still killed illegally on the moor. Three wader species and red grouse Lagopus lagopus all declined following harrier protection and the cessation of management. Meadow pipits Anthus pratensis and stonechats Saxicola rubicola both declined as harriers increased but increased again after 2000. Carrion crows Corvus corone increased from 2000, after they were no longer shot by gamekeepers.

 

Use fire suppression/control Bird Conservation

A before-and-after study in 2000-2006 on a grouse moor in Dunfries and Galloway, south Scotland (Baines et al. 2008), found that five bird species decreased following the discontinuation of moor management in 2000, whilst four increased. Before 2000, the moor underwent rotational burning and red foxes Vulpes vulpes, carrion crows Corvus corone, stoats Mustela erminea and weasels M. nivalis were controlled.

 

Use legislative regulation to protect wild populations Bird Conservation

A before-and-after study on a grouse moor in Dunfries and Galloway, south Scotland (Baines et al. 2008), found that the numbers of hen harriers Circus cyaneus and peregrine falcons Falco peregrinus increased after birds were given full protection from persecution in 1990 (harriers increased from two pairs in 1992 to 20 pairs in 1997, whilst  peregrines increased from two to six pairs). However, following the discontinuation of moor management in 2000, harriers declined again to two to four pairs in 2003-6 (see ‘Shrubland modifications - Use fire suppression or control’). Both species were legally protected since 1961, but until 1990 many were still killed illegally on the moor. Three wader species and red grouse Lagopus lagopus all declined following harrier protection and the cessation of management. Meadow pipits Anthus pratensis and stonechats Saxicola rubicola both declined as harriers increased but increased again after 2000. Carrion crows Corvus corone increased from 2000, after they were no longer shot by gamekeepers.

 

Maintain upland heath/moorland Farmland Conservation

A before-and-after study in 2000-2006 on a grouse moor in Dumfries and Galloway, south Scotland (Baines et al. 2008), found that five bird species decreased following the discontinuation of moor management in 2000, whilst four more increased. Before 2000, the moor underwent rotational burning and red foxes Vulpes vulpes, carrion crows Corvus corone, stoats Mustela erminea and weasels M. nivalis were controlled.