Lowland Game

The Lowland Game Research (LGR) unit undertakes research relating to lowland game and wildlife and the habitats they share, in particular woodland and farmland. The research is designed to provide solutions to problems. There are currently several ongoing studies exploring the impacts on habitats and wildlife of releasing gamebirds for shooting; on the ecology of released pheasants and woodland birds; and wild game management in the lowlands.

Rufus Sage Dr Maureen Woodburn Owen Gethings
Dr Rufus Sage
Head of Lowland
Gamebird Research
Dr Maureen Woodburn
Owen Gethings
PhD Student
Anon male Dr Maureen Woodburn  Alice Deacon
Andy Hall
MSc Student
Lucy Capstick
PhD Student
 Alice Deacon
 Placement Student

LGR is also involved in pheasant and red-legged partridge radio tracking. This involves tagging populations with small radio transmitters, following them, and documenting fate, dispersal, habitat use and other factors.

The work of the LGR unit involves a combination of fieldwork, surveying wildlife and habitats, monitoring game, laboratory work, data handling, analysis and reporting. Some aspects of the work are extensive and involve monitoring at many sites across the country, while others are more intensive, involving just one or a handful of sites.

Current projects

  • Long-term monitoring of breeding pheasant populations on releasing and wild bird estates (1996-ongoing)
  • Study of factors affecting return rates from pheasant release pens (2008-ongoing)
  • Monitoring the response of birds to changes in farmland habitat and management (2009-ongoing)
  • Factors affecting breeding in free-living reared pheasants (2010-ongoing)
  • Monitoring grey partridge recovery and impacts on associated wildlife (2014-2018)
  • Developing perennial game cover mixes (2014-2018)
  • Gapeworm on shooting estates, spatial and temporal factors affecting infections in pheasants - PhD study with Harper Adams University
  • Breeding ecology of corvids, predatory behaviour and the effect of trapping on farmland - PhD study with Exeter University

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