The protection of wild game by gamekeepers has by tradition involved the control of those predators that kill gamebirds or rob their nests. While some ecologists up to the late 1970s believed predation losses to be of little or no consequence to prey populations our experimental studies have demonstrated this is not the case for at least ground-nesting gamebirds.
We think predator control as part of game management is justified if it leads to good conservation of wildlife habitats in the countryside and does not threaten the conservation status of our native predators.
Our studies aim to make predator control more effective, more efficient, and more humane. There will always be a trade-off between these aims and finding practical solutions that can be readily adopted by gamekeepers and others.