The role of predation in pheasant release.

Author Robertson, P.A. & Hill, D.A.
Citation Robertson, P.A. & Hill, D.A. (1986). The role of predation in pheasant release. In: Proceedings of the Third Symposium of the World Pheasant Association. World Pheasant Association, Reading.

Abstract

The members of the order Galliformes are of great interest, both to sportsmen and to conservationists. For example, the Pheasant Phasianus colchicus is the most prominent gamebird in the temperate regions of Europe and North America while the Galliformes also include at least 16 species in urgent need or conservation (I.U.C.N. 1978-79). In recent years some of the management techniques developed for the release of Pheasants have been applied by the World Pheasant Association to the reintroduction or Cheer Pheasant Catreus wallichii into Pakistan (Severinghaus et al 1979, Young 1985). However, on British shooting estates where large numbers of birds are released, gamekeepers are employed to remove potential predators. How important is predation to the survival of released pheasants?

Firstly, this paper presents details of a study of pheasant release in Ireland as a case-history of the release of small numbers of hand-reared poults on to poorly keepered land, concentrating on the timing, causes and extent of mortality, with emphasis on the role of predation. Secondly, we examine the changing emphasis placed on predator control and pheasant release by British estates in recent years and the implications for game management.

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