Selection of a diversionary field and other habitats by large grazing birds in a landscape managed for agriculture and wetland biodiversity.

Published online
02 May 2024
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
Ecological Solutions and Evidence

Nilsson, L. & Månsson, J. & Elmberg, J. & Liljebäck, N. & Tombre, I.
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Several populations of cranes, geese, and swans are thriving and increasing in modern agricultural landscapes. Abundant populations are causing conservation conflicts, as they may affect agricultural production and biodiversity negatively. Management strategies involving provisioning of attractive diversionary fields where birds are tolerated can be used to reduce negative impact to growing crops. To improve such strategies, knowledge of how the birds interact with the landscape and respond to current management interventions is key. We used GPS locations from tagged common cranes (Grus grus) and greylag geese (Anser anser) to assess how they use and select differentially managed habitats, such as diversionary fields to decrease impact on agriculture and wetlands protected for biodiversity conservation. Our findings show a high probability of presence of common cranes and greylag geese in the protected area and in the diversionary field, but also on arable fields, potentially causing negative impact on agricultural production and wetland biodiversity. We outline recommendations for how to improve the practice of diversionary fields and complementary management to reduce risk of negative impact of large grazing birds in landscapes tailored for both conservation and conventional agriculture.

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