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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Use traditional breeds of livestock Bird Conservation

Key messages

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A replicated controlled study in four European countries found no differences in bird abundances between areas grazed with traditional or commercial breeds of livestock.


Supporting evidence from individual studies


A replicated and controlled trial in four European countries (UK, Germany, France and Italy) from 2002-4 (Wallis De Vries et al. 2007) found no differences in bird numbers between areas grazed with traditional breeds of livestock and those grazed by commercial breeds. Birds were counted every two weeks in early morning, from May to October, with a 7 minute observation period and a walking transect. The traditional breeds were Devon, German Angus and Salers, compared with commercial Charolais x Fresian, Simmental and Charolais, in the UK, Germany and France respectively. In Italy traditional Karst sheep were compared with commercial Finnish Romanovs. Animals were monitored in 2002, 2003 and 2004.


Referenced papers

Please cite as:

Williams, D.R., Child, M.F., Dicks, L.V., Ockendon, N., Pople, R.G., Showler, D.A., Walsh, J.C., zu Ermgassen, E.K.H.J. & Sutherland, W.J. (2018) Bird Conservation. Pages 95-244 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, N. Ockendon, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2018. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.