Animal Science

Research Article

The influence of livestock management on habitat quality for farmland birds

D. L. Buckinghama1a2 c1 and W. J. Peacha1

a1 Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, The Lodge, Sandy, Bedfordshire SG19 2DL, UK

a2 Centre for Agri-Environmental Research, University of Reading, Reading RG6 6AR, UK

Abstract

Abstract This review covers research linking foraging habitat quality for birds to livestock management in lowland farmland. Based on this research we propose a framework for predicting the value of grazing systems to birds. This predictive framework is needed to guide the development of agri-environment measures to address farmland bird declines in pastoral areas. We show that the exacting requirements of declining granivorous birds pose the greatest challenges, while the needs of soil invertebrate feeding species are more easily met.

Keywords

  • defoliation;
  • food supply;
  • foraging;
  • grazing;
  • predation

Correspondence:

c1 E-mail: david.buckingham@rspb.org.uk