Pest control “key” in managing the effects of climate change

A Natural England report commissioned from organisations including the RSPB, has suggested pest control such as the “killing of foxes” as one of several “key adaptation actions” to assist “priority species”.

The report “Research on the assessment of risks and opportunities for species in England as a result of climate change” states that  the “exclusion of, and killing of foxes can be used to increase nesting success and probably breeding productivity” of species at risk. Specifically the report identifies lapwing and black tailed godwit as particularly likely to benefit from fox control. Other species such as red grouse, golden plover, curlew and black grouse are listed as likely to benefit from the “legal control of generalist predators”.

Alan Jarrett, Chairman of BASC said: “I welcome the RSPB and scientists’ endorsement of pest control as a key action that benefits species, many of which are already of conservation concern, and which could further suffer from climate change. The pest control undertaken across the country by shooting – which has a management influence on two-thirds of the rural land area – is a major conservation benefit to threatened species. It’s good to see scientific recognition that pest control is necessary.”

Notes to Editors

The detail can be found in Natural England Commissioned Report NECR175