Study

The effects of reseeding, fertilizer application and disturbance on the use of grasslands by barnacle geese, and the implications for refuge management

  • Published source details Percival S.M. (1993) The effects of reseeding, fertilizer application and disturbance on the use of grasslands by barnacle geese, and the implications for refuge management. Journal of Applied Ecology, 30, 437-443.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Re-seed grasslands

Action Link
Bird Conservation

Provide ‘sacrificial’ grasslands to reduce the impact of wild geese on crops

Action Link
Bird Conservation

Fertilize artificial grasslands

Action Link
Bird Conservation

Provide 'sacrificial' grasslands to reduce the impact of wild geese on crops

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Re-seed grasslands

    A replicated, controlled trial in 1984-7 on a reserve on the island of Islay, west Scotland (Percival 1993), found that more barnacle geese Branta leucopsis used wet pasture fields if they were reseeded, compared to if they were fertilised or untreated (reseeding increased dropping density by 60-135%; fertilisation by 17-42%, but not in all fields or years). The effect of reseeding declined over time, and as the overall area of rotational grassland on the reserve increased. Reseeding consisted of ploughing fields and sowing with a perennial rye-grass Lolium perenne dominated seed mix in May.

     

  2. Provide ‘sacrificial’ grasslands to reduce the impact of wild geese on crops

    A replicated, controlled trial in 1984-7 on a reserve on the island of Islay, west Scotland (Percival 1993), found more barnacle geese Branta leucopsis used wet pasture fields if they were re-seeded or fertilised than if they were unmanaged. However, increases were due to a redistribution of local birds, rather than new birds visiting the reserve. The author therefore suggests that improving the reserve grasslands will only minimally reduce conflict with farmers elsewhere on the island. The details of management interventions are discussed in ‘Re-seed grasslands’ and ‘Fertilise grasslands’.

     

  3. Fertilize artificial grasslands

    A replicated, controlled study in 1984-1987 on a reserve on the island of Islay, west Scotland (Percival 1993), found that more barnacle geese Branta leucopsis used wet pasture fields if they were fertilised, compared to control fields (17-42% higher dropping densities in fertilised fields, but not in all fields or years). However, fewer geese used fertilised fields than re-seeded ones. Fertilisers were either 34.5% nitrogen in pellet form (at 125 kg/ha), or ‘Nitrochalk’ – 25% nitrogen in granular form – (at 175 kg/ha) and spread in October (wet and dry fields) and March (dry fields only).

     

  4. Provide 'sacrificial' grasslands to reduce the impact of wild geese on crops

    A replicated, controlled trial in 1984-1987 on a reserve on the island of Islay, west Scotland (Percival 1993) found more barnacle geese Branta leucopsis used wet pasture fields if they were re-seeded or fertilized than if they were unmanaged. However, fewer geese used fertilized fields than re-seeded ones. Fertilizers were either 34.5% nitrogen in pellet form (at 125 kg/ha), or ‘nitrochalk’ – 25% nitrogen in granular form – (at 175 kg/ha) and spread in October (wet and dry fields) and March (dry fields only). However, increases in barnacle geese were due to a redistribution of local birds, rather than new birds visiting the reserve. The author therefore suggests that improving the reserve grasslands will only minimally reduce conflict with farmers elsewhere on the island.

     

Output references
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