Publications for Dr Will Peach

The impacts of non-native gamebird release in the UK: an updated evidence review

Recreational shooting of non-native gamebirds (pheasants and red-legged partridges) in the UK is
underpinned by a suite of management practices. A major aspect is the annual large-scale release
of birds to be shot, which is steadily increasing with an estimated 57 million birds released in 2016;
this scale of non-native gamebird release exceeds any similar activity in Europe or North America.

Approximately one third of released birds are shot, while the majority of the remaining birds die
from other causes during the year of release or survive in very low numbers to join the population
of pheasants and partridges now residing in the wild in the UK.

The number of gamebirds released has increased since the 1990s, while the number shot has
remained relatively stable, and this reduction in releasing-efficiency is potentially driven by a
reduction in gamebird survival and an increase in late winter shooting, meaning that more birds
must be released during autumn to ensure enough survive to be shot in January.
There is concern that this large and increasing release of gamebirds and associated shooting practices may be having negative impacts on the UK’s native wildlife. However, there may also be positive ecological, economic and social impacts of gamebird release activities.

Date
12 October 2020
RSPB Authors
Lucy Mason, Dr Jen Smart, Dr Will Peach
Authors
Lucy R. Mason, Jake E. Bicknell, Jennifer Smart, Will J. Peach
Published in
RSPB Research Report No. 66
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Avian malaria-mediated population decline of a widespread iconic bird species

Parasites have the capacity to affect animal populations by modifying host survival, and it is increasingly recognized that infectious disease can negatively impact biodiversity. Populations of the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) have declined in many European towns and cities, but the causes of these declines...

Date
17 July 2019
RSPB Authors
Dr Will Peach
Authors
Dadam, D., Robinson, R.A., Clements, A., Peach, W.J., Bennett, M., Rowcliffe, J.M. & Cunningham, A.A.
Published in
Royal Society Open Science 6 (7)
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Bird conservation and the land sharing-sparing continuum in farmland-dominated landscapes of lowland England

Empirical evidence from many regions suggests that most species would be least negatively affected if human food demand were met through high-yield agricultural production and conservation of nonfarm ecosystems (land sparing), rather than through wildlife-friendly farming over...

Date
21 March 2019
RSPB Authors
Dr Tom Finch, Prof Rhys Green, Dr Will Peach
Authors
Finch, T., Gillings, S., Green, R.E., Massimino, D., Peach, W.J. & Balmford, A.
Published in
Conservation Biology
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Depleted suburban house sparrow Passer domesticus population not limited by food availability

Little is known about the environmental factors that limit the demography and abundance of wild vertebrates in highly modified urban environments. The House Sparrow Passer domesticus is a globally widespread species whose urban populations have recently undergone substantial declines particularly in Europe. The environmental drivers of these declines...

Date
03 December 2018
RSPB Authors
Dr Will Peach, Dr John Mallord, Chris Orsman
Authors
Peach, W.J., Mallord, J.W., Ockendon, N., Orsman, C.J. & Haines, W.G.
Published in
Urban Ecosystems 21 (6): 1053-1065
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Higher-tier agri-environment schemes: do they work and how much do we need to recover farmland birds?

Our study assessed the impact of higher‐tier agri‐environment scheme (AES) land management on the abundance of bird species associated with farmed landscapes...

Date
01 June 2018
RSPB Authors
Dr Tony Morris, Dr Will Peach
Authors
Morris, A.J., Grice, P.V., Walker, L.K., Cristinacce, A., Dadam, D. & Peach, W.J.
Published in
Animal Conservation 21 (3): 199-200
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Effects of higher-tier agri-environment scheme on the abundance of priority farmland birds

Agri-environment schemes (AES) are the main policy mechanism available for reversing the widespread declines of European farmland biodiversity. We assessed the impact of AES land...

Date
01 June 2018
RSPB Authors
Dr Tony Morris, Dr Will Peach
Authors
Walker, L.K., Morris, A.J., Cristinacce, A., Dadam, D., Grice, P.V. & Peach, W.J.
Published in
Animal Conservation 21 (3): 183-192
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Can hedgerow management mitigate the impacts of predation on songbird nest survival?

Nest predators can have significant impacts on songbird reproductive success. These impacts may be amplified by habitat simplification and here we test whether sympathetic management of farmland hedgerows can reduce nest...

Date
01 December 2016
RSPB Authors
Dr Jenny Dunn, Derek Gruar, Dr Will Peach
Authors
Dunn, J.C., Gruar, D., Stoate, C., Szczur, J. & Peach, W.J.
Published in
Journal of Environmental Management 184: 535-544.
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The impacts of crop tiller density on the breeding performance of a cereal-nesting specialist: ecological trap and potential management tool

In the pursuit of maximizing agricultural yields and profits, crop management under intensive agriculture has reduced the heterogeneity of crop sward structure within fields. Several farmland bird specialists ...

Date
18 July 2016
RSPB Authors
Dr Rosemary Setchfield, Dr Will Peach
Authors
Setchfield, R.P. & Peach, W.J.
Published in
Journal of Applied Ecology
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The influence of crop tiller density on the breeding performance of a cereal-nesting specialist

In the pursuit of maximizing agricultural yields and profits, crop management under intensive agriculture has reduced the heterogeneity of crop sward structure...

Date
18 July 2016
RSPB Authors
Dr Rosemary Setchfield, Dr Will Peach
Authors
Setchfield, R.P. & Peach, W.J.
Published in
Journal of Applied Ecology 53: 1430-1439
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Twenty years of local farmland bird conservation: the effects of management on avian abundance at two UK demonstration sites

Capsule: At two demonstration farms, Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust's Loddington Farm in Leicestershire and Royal Society for the Protection of Birds's Hope Farm in Cambridgeshire, targeted management led to much faster increases in avian abundance than in the surrounding regions...

Date
13 October 2015
RSPB Authors
Dr David Gibbons, Dr Tony Morris, Dr Will Peach
Authors
Aebischer, N.J., Bailey, C.M., Gibbons, D., Morris, A.J., Peach, W.J. & Stoate, C.
Published in
Bird Study
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