Assessing the relationship between foxes, game birds and predator control

It has been suggested that gamebird release supports higher-than-normal fox population densities. This study will help us understand the relationship between foxes, gamebirds and gamekeepers.

BASC has commissioned research to the GWCT for a study at a group of sites in central southern England that release moderate or large numbers of pheasants and/or red-legged partridges. The study will ask two questions: i) is fox abundance and activity higher on sites where gamebird releases take place compared to sites without releases, and ii) does modern fox control, as practised by professional gamekeepers, reduce fox numbers to a level similar, or lower, to sites where pheasant releases do not take place?

This will fill a significant knowledge gap around gamebird release and help with future law and policy decisions around the release of gamebirds.