Long-term Study Shows Agri-environment Schemes Boost Wildlife PopulationsAugust 3, 2022
Scientists from the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (UKCEH) investigated the impact of a 1,000-hectare commercial farm in Buckinghamshire on biodiversity. The results, published in Journal of Applied Ecology, showed that agri-environment schemes are beneficial to the bird and butterfly populations.
The study started in 2005 and involved creating several wildlife habitats, which include seed-bearing plants for birds, insects, and small mammals. The effectiveness of these agri-environmental measures was evaluated in terms of reducing biodiversity losses brought by the intensified farming practices.
The researchers monitored the abundance of 12 widespread bird and 9 butterfly species in the study area and compared them with similar landscapes without agri-environment schemes. Results showed that population trends were frequently stable or increasing in the study area compared to the concurrent declining trends in other areas without agri-environment schemes. These findings highlight the significant benefits of agri-environment schemes to biodiversity.
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