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Net ride management 2017/18

Thursday, March 22nd 2018

Net rides again folks! 

Over the last few volunteer days we finished tidying up net ride 34 and proceeded to cut net ride 38; today was all about tidying up our mess from yesterday.

It's essential that we take the time to periodically tidy up the net rides. If left they cease to function in the way in which they are intended to, with birds skirting over the top of the mist nets and evading capture.

Bringing down the height of the surrounding vegetation reduces the chance of this happening and enables the bird ringers to do their thing.

Changes between years in the totals of adults captured provide an index of population change at the study sites. Information on post-fledging productivity is provided by the ratio of juveniles to adults captured in the late season; while between-year retraps provide information on survival.

As most sites will be in specified habitats, relationships between habitat and population changes can also be investigated. 

Net ride 38 is easily missed, being hidden away adjacent to the heath; and yet as part of the Constant Effort Site (CES) Scheme it is an integral part of our current phase of net ride management (click here for more information about the CES Scheme). 

The vegetation adjacent to the net ride is pollarded (cut) on either side to a depth of 2 meters and at the approximate height of a mist net pole. 

Excess brash is burnt with suitable timber being left as habitat and often added to habitat piles created at the time of the last net ride cut.

We are now fast approaching the end of the month and the end of this year's window for net ride management. In the coming months we will begin putting together a mangement plan that will include directives for managing the net rides on a rotational basis.

And here it is, the plan which we have been working to over the last few months (and which I have blabbed on about). Those highlighted in blue are those CES scheme rides which we will now leave until next year (due to them not being of pressing concern).

We've completed all of those highlighted in green this year, which includes all other CES scheme rides (except number 38 which is highlighted in red and will be finished presently), along with the two non CES scheme rides at 18 and 19.


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