Grassland management options in the Environmentally Sensitive Area and Set-aside schemes may benefit waders which exploit permanent grassland as a feeding habitat in winter. Both schemes operate at the field scale but no guidelines exist for the selection of fields as grassland feeding areas for waders, or for their subsequent management. Logistic regression modelling was used to examine the relative importance of ground habitats, landscape variables and sources of human disturbance to the suitability of permanent grass fields as winter feeding habitats for plovers and other waders. The strongest correlations, which were common to nearly all models, were with sward height and the degree of field enclosure. The causal relationship with sward height was confirmed by an experiment, in which a single mowing operation in mid-October produced a sward that was attractive to waders.
Biological Conservation – Elsevier
Published: May 1, 1998
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