An assessment of bird species within irish agricultural landscapes using the field boundary evaluation and grading system
McMahon, Barry J.
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McMahon, Barry J. Sheridan, Helen; Kinsella, Anne; Purvis, Gordon (2010). An assessment of bird species within irish agricultural landscapes using the field boundary evaluation and grading system. Bird Study 57 (1), 108-115
Capsule The Field Boundary Evaluation and Grading System (FBEGS) is a useful predictor of bird populations found in field boundaries located in southeast Ireland. Aims To assess the potential of FBEGS to evaluate the ecological quality of field boundaries in agricultural ecosystems and as a tool for the measurement of bird populations within field boundaries. Methods Surveys of bird populations were made in selected field boundaries on 50 farms in southeast Ireland in winter and during the breeding season. FBEGS surveys were also carried out on field boundaries to assess ecological quality. GLMs were fitted to assess the utility of the FBEGS Index as a predictor of bird populations. Results The FBEGS Index was an effective predictor of bird populations in the breeding season, but had limited use in predicting bird populations in winter. Within the overall FBEGS Index, the Associated Features score was a good predictor for populations in both the winter and breeding seasons. In addition, the Boundary Structural score of the field boundary was also an accurate predictor of birds in the breeding season. Conclusion The FBEGS Index has high potential for predicting the effect that changes in the farmed landscape will have on bird populations.