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Large grazing birds and agriculture—predicting field use of common cranes and implications for crop damage prevention

Nilsson, Lovisa and Bunnefeld, Nils and Persson, Jens and Månsson, Johan (2016). Large grazing birds and agriculture—predicting field use of common cranes and implications for crop damage prevention. Agriculture, ecosystems & environment. 219, 163-170
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Abstract

Increasing numbers of previously threatened large grazing birds (cranes, geese and swans) are causing crop damage along their flyways worldwide. For example, the number of reported incidents of crop damage caused by common cranes Grus grus, followed by regulated inspections and governmental compensation in Sweden, has increased over the last few decades and was valued at ∼200,000 Euros in 2012. Consequently, their impact on agriculture is escalating which raises the need for evidence-informed preventative strategies. We surveyed arable fields for autumn staging common cranes in an area surrounding a wetland reserve in Sweden. We assessed the following factors in relation to the probability of cranes being present on fields: crop stage, crop type, distance to roost site, time of day, field size and time since harvest. Stubble fields had the highest probability of crane presence, progressively decreasing through grassland and grazing grounds, bare soil to growing crop. A stubble field at 5km from a roost site had a predicted probability (95% CI) of hosting cranes of 0.25 (0.19-0.32). The probability of cranes visiting a field was linearly and negatively related to distance to the roost site. For example, the probability of crane presence increased from 0.05 (0.03-0.07) to 0.09 (0.06-0.15) when distance decreased from 5 to 1km. At stubble fields, the probability of crane presence decreased with time since harvest and was highest for barley with progressively lower probability on wheat and oat. Illustrative scenario predictions developed from the models demonstrated that probability of crane presence could be high, 0.60 (0.42-0.77), if all favorable factors were combined (e.g. barley stubble, 1 day after harvest, 1km from roost site). Given the existing framework of international conventions and prohibition of culling, there is a need for preventative strategies to reduce crop damage. Based on our results, such strategies should focus on providing cereal stubbles as diversionary fields, especially close to wetland roosting sites. Stubble field availability can be achieved by careful crop rotation planning. We suggest that crop rotation and time of harvest should be added to flyway management plans recently developed for some large grazing bird species to facilitate stable co-existence between conservation practices and agricultural interests. KeywordsConservation; Crop protection; Geese; Wildlife conflict; Management

Authors/Creators:Nilsson, Lovisa and Bunnefeld, Nils and Persson, Jens and Månsson, Johan
Title:Large grazing birds and agriculture—predicting field use of common cranes and implications for crop damage prevention
Series/Journal:Agriculture ecosystems & environment (0167-8809)
Year of publishing :2016
Volume:219
Page range:163-170
Number of Pages:8
Publisher:Elsevier
Associated Programs and Other Stakeholders:Wildlife Damage Centre
ISSN:0167-8809
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Refereed:Yes
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Agrovoc terms:plant protection, wildlife management
Keywords:conservation, crop protection, geese, wildlife conflict, management
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-3560
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-3560
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
Web of Science (WoS)000370100800017
DOI10.1016/j.agee.2015.12.021
ID Code:13505
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:11 Jul 2016 08:15
Metadata Last Modified:25 Nov 2016 15:11

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