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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Targeted management intervention reduces rate of population decline of Corn Buntings Emberiza calandra in eastern Scotland: Capsule Breeding populations were less likely to decline when farmland was subject to management intervention designed to benefit the species

Published source details

Perkins A., Maggs H., Wilson J., Watson A. & Smout C. (2008) Targeted management intervention reduces rate of population decline of Corn Buntings Emberiza calandra in eastern Scotland: Capsule Breeding populations were less likely to decline when farmland was subject to management intervention designed to benefit the species. Bird Study, 55, 52-58


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Pay farmers to cover the costs of bird conservation measures Bird Conservation

A replicated 2008 site comparison study of 53 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 buntings 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 buntings 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 providing grass margins to 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.