Improving The Survival of Released Pheasants | Seminar 2016

Improving The Survival of Released Pheasants

By Dr. Roger Draycott

Pheasant hunting is an increasingly popular pastime in Great Britain. Around 40 million pheasants are released each Summer ahead of hunting days in the Fall and Winter. Over 20% of these birds are lost (predated etc) before they go over the guns for the first time. There are further non-shooting losses of around 20% through the hunting season. Overall, as many birds are predated as are killed by hunters. In my talk I will describe the factors which influence survival rates post-release and discuss management techniques which can be implemented to increase survival rates of young pheasants. These include husbandry and habitat improvements in and around release areas, predator management and releasing strategy. I will also describe simple techniques that can be incorporated into the rearing process that can produce birds better adapted to life in the wild (e.g. provision of perches in the rearing pens can improve behaviour, physiology and survival of pheasants post release).

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About The Presenter

From an agricultural background and with a PhD in pheasant ecology, Roger has worked at the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust in the UK since 1993. He spent many years undertaking applied research on pheasants (reared and wild) and grey partridges in Europe before joining the gamebird advisory team in 2012. Roger provides advice on game management and wildlife conservation to farmers, shoot managers, conservation organisations and the agricultural supply chain across eastern and northern England in addition to heading up the Advisory team.