The decline of the Starling Sturnus vulgaris in Denmark is related to changes in the extent and intensity of cattle grazing

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The Danish breeding Starling population declined at a mean annual rate of
2.24% ± 0.39 (95% CI) during 1976–2015 (a 60% decline overall). Starling density in the mid-1990s was positively correlated with dairy cattle abundance in 13 local areas. Regional declines in Starling abundance between 2001 and 2014 were positively correlated with loss of high intensity grazing pressure by dairy cattle, as more animal husbandry moved indoors. The long-term decline in national Starling abundance was positively correlated with the long term numbers of dairy cattle grazing outdoors. This study therefore confirms that not only does the extent of available grassland to breeding Starlings affect their relative abundance, but that the intensity of grazing of these grasslands is also of importance.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAgriculture, Ecosystems & Environment
Pages (from-to)24-31
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2016

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