U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


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Bird damage, from sowing to crop establishment, is an important issue for farmers in many parts of the world. However, reliable and cost-effective solutions remain elusive because management tools and research on the subject are limited. The spatial variability of damage across landscapes and the adaptative behaviour of birds create further challenges. Additionally, the issue must be tackled at the landscape scale and involve a variety of stakeholders with conflicting interests and objectives. We summarize some of the challenges and opportunities identified to face these difficulties and address four major research directions for operational solutions including 1) crop damage assessment, 2) methods and tools development at the landscape scale, 3) coordination of stakeholders, and 4) pest bird ecology in agroecosystems. More fundamentally, we address the question of large-scale ecological dynamics that can explain changing damage patterns such as the recent observations of increased damage in Europe. Despite the impact to the agricultural sector, research effort to understand vertebrate pest damage is still modest. We advocate for the creation of networks to share knowledge and feedback and engages multiple stakeholders, including ecological and agricultural researchers, farmers, and policy makers.