The benefits of pesticide free headlands to wild gamebirds.

Author Rands, M.R.W.
Citation Rands, M.R.W. (1985). The benefits of pesticide free headlands to wild gamebirds. In: Hald, A.B. & Kjølholt, J. (eds) The Impact of Pesticides on the Wild Flora and Fauna in Agroecosystem: 19-26. Miljøstyrelsens Center for jordøkologi (Centre for Terrestrial Ecology), Søborg.


There is increasing evidence that the use of pesticides on cereals reduces the insect food supply for gamebird chicks and has therefore been partially responsible for the recent decline of wild game populations throughout Britain. Last year we reported the results of a field experiment designed to test the effects of cereal pesticides on grey partridge chick survival.

It was found that average brood size was significantly  increased by leaving six-metre strips (headlands) around the  edges of cereal fields unsprayed from January 1st onwards.

In 1984 this experiment was repeated and expanded to include other farms, with different soil types, lengths of  hedgerows and climatic conditions, and a wider range of game  and other species of wildlife. The project also included an  intensive study of the foraging areas and survival of ten grey partridge broods which hatched adjacent to sprayed and unsprayed cereal headlands, using radio-telemetry.

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