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Bird and small mammal community composition and abundance in upland open habitats and early conifer forests

Anthropogenic land-use change, such as commercial afforestation, is a significant driver of shifts in ecological communities and species abundance. In this study, the consequences of afforestation of upland habitats for two distinct animal groups, …

Runway roadkill: a global review of mammal strikes with aircraft

The number of reported collisions (i.e. strikes) between aircraft and wildlife is increasing globally, with consequences for personnel and passenger safety as well as for industry economics. These are important considerations for airport operators …

Where's wallaby? Using public records and media reports to describe the status of red-necked wallabies in Britain

Red-necked wallabies have been present in Britain for more than a century, originally being imported for zoos and private collections where they were popular attractions. However they also proved to be adept escape artists that were adaptable enough to survive in the British countryside. To find out what impact an established population of wallabies might have in Britain, we first have to establish where wild wallabies might be found, how often they are recorded and whether there are any current, established populations. We recorded a total of 95 confirmed sightings between 2008-2018, with most occurring in the month of August. Females with young were seen in Cornwall.

Expert knowledge assessment of threats and conservation strategies for breeding Hen Harrier and Short-eared Owl across Europe

Hen Harrier and Short-eared Owl are ground-nesting, open-country birds of prey that have overlapping distributions. This paper brings together expert knowledge on threats to these species, across Europe. Both species are generally in decline and populations are broadly affected by the same factors, including predation, climate, habitat loss, agricultural intensification, and persecution. Despite the similarities, there were key regional differences, highlighting the need for country-specific conservation actions. Protected areas were the most commonly used conservation tool, though they appear to be less effective than active management to benefit the species. Effective conservation on the continental scale requires collaborative international research and practical approaches, with ongoing monitoring and assessment.

A review of factors to consider when using camera traps to study animal behavior to inform wildlife ecology and conservation

Camera traps (CTs) are an increasingly popular method of studying animal behavior. However, the impact of cameras on detected individuals-such as from mechanical noise, odor, and emitted light-has received relatively little attention. These impacts …

Anthropogenic pressures within the breeding range of the Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus in Ireland

We used text mining, mixed-effects models, principal component analysis and clustering methods to explore anthropogenic pressures on suitable breeding and foraging habitats for Hen Harriers in Ireland, based on the 2015 national breeding Hen Harrier …

Forest management and Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus conservation in Ireland

Hen Harriers (Circus cyaneus) are birds of prey that are of conservation concern in Ireland where the population is small and in decline. Hen Harriers typically use upland habitats such as heather moorland and bog during the summer breeding season …

Seasonality and risk factors for myxomatosis in pet rabbits in Great Britain

Myxomatosis is a highly contagious, frequently fatal viral disease affecting both wild and domesticated European rabbits across many areas of the world. Using electronic health records (EHRs) collected from pet rabbits across Great Britain (GB) between 2014 and 2019, we identified new features of this disease's epidemiology. Cases occurred across the country but there was considerable variation between years, with biannual peaks occurring in August to November. The chances that pet rabbiots could contract the disease varied by season, age, sex, vaccination status and the distance to wild rabbit habitat. Vaccinated rabbits were 8 times less likely to be recorded as a case than unvaccinated rabbits. This work can inform targeted health messages to rabbit owners and veterinary practitioners aimed at reducing the impact of this preventable disease.

The impacts of introduced House Mice on the breeding success of nesting seabirds on Gough Island

Gough Island, a remote island in the South Atlantic, is home to one of the most important seabird colonies in the world, including 22 breeding species. House mice were introduced to Gough in the 1800s and have since been observed eating seabird chicks and eggs. However, the extent of their impacts on breeding seabird populations was unknown. In this paper we calculated the breeding success of 10 species on Gough and compared these to the breeding success of similar species on islands where there aren't any invasive mammals. We estimated that house mice are responsible for the loss of nearly 2,000,000 chicks and eggs on Gough Island, annually. Some species are more vulnerable than others but almost all were impacted. At least three species that are found nowhere else in the world, the Tristan Albatross, Atlantic Petrel, and MacGillivray's Prion are likely to become extinct in the near future if mice aren't removed from Gough.

Factors influencing Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus territory site selection and breeding success

Hen Harriers are scarce in Ireland and the population is declining. The species typically breeds in upland heather moorland habitats. Due to changes to land managemen and degradation as a result of other activites, much of the Irish moorland is degraded or has been completely replaced. In this paper we showed that the breeding success of Hen Harriers in Ireland is impacted by climate, landscape composition and management. It is clear that if Hen Harriers are to have a long-term future in Ireland then conservation needs to happen and be prioritised on the landscape scale.