Historically, the Predation team’s expertise grew from studies of the fox, a key mammalian predator, developing into an exploration of how predation is controlled on shooting estates and wider conservation scenarios.

Jonathan Reynolds Mike Short Tom Porteus
Dr Jonathan Reynolds
Head of Predation
Control Studies
Mike Short
Senior Field Ecologist
Dr Tom Porteus
Postdoctoral Ecologist

The term ‘predation control’ was adopted deliberately so as to include non-lethal solutions. Unfortunately it does not capture the team’s related interest in management of non-predatory pest species such as rabbits, rats and grey squirrels.

Controlling the numbers of wildlife species is always controversial, but the team’s research aims reflect the Trust’s charitable role of research and education for the benefit of the public. Our general aim is to improve the management of predator and pest species from all perspectives, making it more efficient and effective, but also more rational and humane.

Our research explores practices at every level, from the methods used to the underlying strategy. Research findings quickly make their way into practical advice via the GWCT advisory service, and we interface with other conservation bodies and with government departments as both research contractors and advisors.

Current projects

  • Experimental field comparison of fox capture devices (2002-ongoing)
  • Experimental field comparison of tunnel traps and methods of use (2008-ongoing)
  • Exploratory research on optimal trapping strategy for grey squirrel control (2013-2015)

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