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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Skylarks occur in higher densities and have higher breeding success on set aside fields and organic farms than intensive agriculture in southern England

Published source details

Wilson J.D., Evans J., Browne S.J. & King J.R. (1997) Territory distribution and breeding success of skylarks Alauda arvensis on organic and intensive farmland in southern England. Journal of Applied Ecology, 34, 1462-1478


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

Provide or retain set-aside areas in farmland Bird Conservation

A replicated study in summers of 1993-95 on seven farms in southern England (Wilson et al. 1997) found that there were significantly higher densities of Eurasian skylark Alauda arvensis nests on set-aside fields than on conventionally or organically managed crop fields (0.3-0.5 territories/ha for set-aside fields vs. a maximum of 0.4 territories/ha for cropped fields). Estimated nest survival was significantly higher on set-aside fields than conventionally managed cereal fields (44% survival to fledgling on set-aside vs. 11% for conventional cereals). Set-aside was either naturally regenerated from crop stubble or sown with grass.

Provide or retain set-aside areas in farmland Farmland Conservation

A replicated study in summers of 1993-5 on seven farms in southern England (Wilson et al. 1997) found significantly higher densities of skylark Alauda arvensis territories on set-aside fields than on conventionally or organically-managed crop fields (0.26-0.56 territories/ha for set-aside fields vs a maximum of 0.38 territories/ha for cropped fields). Estimated nest survival was significantly higher on set-aside fields than conventionally-managed cereal fields (44% survival to fledgling on set-aside vs 11% for conventional cereals). Set-aside was both naturally regenerated from crop stubble or sown with grass.