Management of cover areas may increase numbers of breeding Corncrakes Crex crex


Corbett, Priscilla E. and Hudson, Malcolm D. (2010) Management of cover areas may increase numbers of breeding Corncrakes Crex crex. Bird Study, 57, (4), 553-559. (doi:10.1080/00063657.2010.489601).

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Description/Abstract

Density of Corncrakes is greater in areas of positively managed non‐crop cover vegetation which occur alongside fields managed to enhance breeding success.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Three farms on the Isle of Islay, Scotland were surveyed in 2008 for singing male Corncrakes (Crex crex), vegetation characteristics in silage fields and cover areas (dense non-crop vegetation). The three farms were under different management regimes: Loch Gruinart RSPB Reserve had 38 ha (2.2%) of land managed as cover, Ardnave is also under long term management for Corncrakes and had around 0.2 ha (0.2%) managed as cover, and Craigens is under limited management for Corncrakes with no areas specifically managed for cover, but had non-crop areas of wild vegetation. Where cover which was positively managed by winter grazing was present, there were higher numbers and densities of birds, which increased with the proportion of cover available across the farm. Cover, when available, supports more birds than silage fields, even if managed with “Corncrake- friendly” methods. Where limited cover which was left unmanaged was the only resource of this kind available, birds were only found in silage fields. The plant assemblages, the vegetation height and the plant density and the species present in cover areas were more suitable for Corncrakes where these areas had been managed by winter grazing, which maintained a more open vegetation structure. Three farms on the Isle of Islay, Scotland were surveyed in 2008 for singing male Corncrakes (Crex crex) as well as vegetation characteristics in silage fields and cover areas (non-crop areas of dense vegetation). The three farms were under different management regimes: one (Loch Gruinart RSPB Reserve) has 38 ha (2.2%) of land in total managed as cover, one (Ardnave) is also under long term management for Corncrakes and has around 0.2 ha (0.2%) managed as cover and the third (Craigens) is under limited management for Corncrakes and has no areas specifically managed as cover, but does have non-crop areas of wild vegetation. Where cover areas - positively managed by winter grazing - were present, there were higher numbers and densities of birds, which increased with the proportion of cover available. Cover, when available, supports more birds than silage fields, even if managed with “Corncrake- friendly” methods. Where unmanaged, limited cover was the only resource of this kind available, birds were only found in silage fields. The plant assemblages, the vegetation height and density and the species present in cover areas were more suitable for Corncrakes where these areas had been managed by winter grazing which maintained a more open vegetation structure.
ISSNs: 0006-3657 (print)
1944-6705 (electronic)
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Q Science > QH Natural history
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Civil Engineering and the Environment
ePrint ID: 73859
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2010
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 18:52
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/73859

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