Animal Biodiversity and Conservation. Volume 35.2 (2012) Pages: 171-174

Management of waterfowl shooting during periods of severe weather in the UK

Ellis, M. B.



During prolonged periods of severe weather waterfowl habitats are affected by snow or ice. Recreational users of the countryside can move waterbirds off prime feeding areas, potentially resulting in reductions in body condition, at a time when energy reserves are key to overwinter survival and subsequent breeding success. Over the last 30 years the British Association for Shooting and Conservation has been closely involved, along with the government and other conservation NGOs, in developing and implementing a criteria–driven process for defining severe weather and managing waterfowl shooting during it in order to minimise unnecessary disturbance to overwintering waterbirds. The system works well and is widely respected and applauded by conservation agencies. There are increasing efforts to bring more countryside activities, including dog walking, bird watching/ringing and other wetland users, into the system so as to reduce further unnecessary waterfowl disturbance during difficult winter weather.


Waterfowl, Management, Hunters, Weather


Ellis, M. B., 2012. Management of waterfowl shooting during periods of severe weather in the UK. Animal Biodiversity and Conservation, 35: 171-174, DOI:



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