Kevin A. Wood

Kevin A. Wood
Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust · Conservation Evidence

PhD (Bournemouth Uni. 2012)

About

78
Publications
35,359
Reads
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1,328
Citations
Citations since 2017
44 Research Items
1114 Citations
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Introduction
As part of WWT’s Conservation Evidence team, I’m involved in research that provides the evidence needed to inform the conservation actions of WWT and our partners. My current areas of research include improving our understanding of the benefits of wetlands for nature and people, including their storage of carbon, and their provision of socio-cultural services. I have worked extensively on diagnosing the demographic and environmental causes of population declines in threated wetland species.
Additional affiliations
December 2014 - present
Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust
Position
  • Principal Research Officer
Description
  • As part of WWT’s Conservation Evidence team, I’m involved in research that provides the evidence needed to inform the conservation actions of WWT and our partners. My current areas of research include improving our understanding of the benefits of wetlands for nature and people, including their storage of carbon, and their provision of socio-cultural services. I have worked extensively on diagnosing the demographic and environmental causes of population declines in threated wetland species.
May 2012 - September 2014
Bournemouth University
Position
  • Mechanistic modelling of bird populations
Description
  • This project focused on the use of mechanistic ecological models to inform conservation and natural resources management.
Education
October 2008 - May 2012
Bournemouth University
Field of study
  • Swan-plant interactions in a chalk river catchment
September 2007 - September 2008
Queen Mary, University of London
Field of study
  • Freshwater and Coastal Sciences
September 2004 - July 2007
University of Bristol
Field of study
  • Biological Sciences

Publications

Publications (78)
Article
Full-text available
Range shifts and phenological change are two processes by which organisms respond to environmental warming. Understanding the mechanisms that drive these changes is key for optimal conservation and management. Here we study both processes in the migratory Bewick's swan (Cygnus columbianus bewickii ) using different methods, analysing nearly 50 year...
Article
Full-text available
The shift from a ‘reader pays’ to an ‘author pays’ model of scientific publishing presents a financial threat to environmental nongovernmental organizations (eNGOs). Many of these support, conduct and publish applied research on real-world solutions to the planet’s most pressing challenges. Funded mainly by donations, eNGOs must now choose between...
Article
Full-text available
Legal regulation of human activities is a key mechanism for alleviating anthropogenic impacts on wildlife populations. Conservationists frequently request the regulation of toxic substances such as lead, which can be harmful to animals even at low levels of exposure. However, without assessments of the effectiveness of legislation , such regulation...
Article
Full-text available
Herbivory is a fundamental process that controls primary producer abundance and regulates energy and nutrient flows to higher trophic levels. Despite the recent proliferation of small-scale studies on herbivore effects on aquatic plants, there remains limited understanding of the factors that control consumer regulation of vascular plants in aquati...
Article
Full-text available
Effective environmental decision-making, in the form of evidence-based management and policy, is a key prerequisite to help balance nature conservation, natural resource management, and human socio-economic activities (Sutherland et al. 2004). To aid such decision-making, the need for predictive tools that are accurate, robust, and parsimonious has...
Article
This study aims to determine the level of movement of individuals between the Icelandic and Northwest Mainland European (NWME) Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus populations, and to assess the extent to which this interchange affects total population estimates. Ringing, resighting and recovery data for Whooper Swans ringed across Europe since the early 190...
Article
Full-text available
No previous study has examined the large-scale distributional drivers of the entire global pool of 3,499 macrophyte species, despite the obvious importance of this for understanding the macro-ecology of these plants. To assess the hypothesis that natural rather than human-related transfer vectors act as the primary long-distance drivers of global m...
Article
No previous study has examined the large-scale distributional drivers of the entire global pool of 3,499 macrophyte species, despite the obvious importance of this for understanding the macroecology of these plants. To assess the hypothesis that natural rather than human-related transfer vectors act as the primary long-distance drivers of global mo...
Article
Full-text available
Individual animals engage in many behaviours which are mutually exclusive, and so where individuals increase the duration of time spent on one type of behavioural activity, this must be offset by a corresponding decrease in at least one other type of behaviour. To understand the variation observed in animal behaviour, researchers need to know how i...
Preprint
Full-text available
Cost-effective use of limited conservation resources requires understanding which data can most contribute to alleviating biodiversity declines. Interventions might reasonably prioritise life-cycle transitions with the greatest influence on population dynamics, yet some contributing vital rates are particularly challenging to document; such pragmat...
Article
Cost-effective use of limited conservation resources requires understanding which data can most contribute to alleviating biodiversity declines. Interventions might reasonably prioritise life-cycle transitions with the greatest influence on population dynamics, yet some contributing vital rates are particularly challenging to document; such pragmat...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This Initial Report describes the findings of a systematic literature review to synthesise data for developing the metrics of a United Kingdom (UK) Saltmarsh Carbon Code. The review aimed to identify the key environmental and biological variables that best predicted carbon storage in saltmarshes in northwestern Europe, targeting published data on c...
Article
Full-text available
Illegal killing of wildlife is a major conservation issue that, to be addressed effectively, requires insight into the drivers of human behaviour. Here we adapt an established socio-psychological model, the theory of planned behaviour, to explore reasons for hunting the Endangered Bewick's swan Cygnus columbianus bewickii in the European Russian Ar...
Article
Full-text available
This database collates vital rate estimates for the common eider (Somateria mollissima), providing a complete demographic parameterization for this slow life‐history species. Monitored across its circumpolar range, the common eider represents a data‐rich exemplar species for the less‐studied seaducks, many of which are under threat. The database co...
Article
Full-text available
The eighth international census of Whooper Swans Cygnus cygnus wintering in Britain, Ireland and Iceland (also including the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands) took place in January 2020, to update the estimates of the size, midwinter distribution, habitat use and breeding success of the Icelandic Whooper Swan population. The total of 43,255 swan...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The long-term monitoring of demographic changes in waterbird populations remains limited, but such information can be valuable for conservationists and waterbird managers. Biased sex ratios can indicate differences in survival rates between sexes. In particular, differences in the sex ratios of fledged juveniles and adults can provide i...
Article
Full-text available
Background Winter numbers of the northwest European population of Bewick’s Swans ( Cygnus columbianus bewickii ) declined recently by c. 40%. During the same period, numbers of two sympatric and ecologically-similar congeners, the Mute Swan ( Cygnus olor ) and Whooper Swan ( Cygnus cygnus ) showed increases or stability. It has been suggested that...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The 61st consecutive annual census of Greenland/Iceland Pink-footed Geese and Iceland Greylag Geese took place during autumn and early winter 2020. Sites holding Pink-footed Geese were surveyed in October and November, whilst those holding Greylag Geese were primarily surveyed in November. Coverage in Britain was good, with all of the key sites cov...
Article
Full-text available
The health benefits associated with spending time in natural environments have been highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdowns and restrictions to safeguard public health have exacerbated the pre-existing mental health crisis and rise of non-communicable diseases. Thus, the importance of nature as a health resource has been elevated, haste...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The long-term monitoring of wildlife populations provides critical data used to inform conservation policy and action. Within the UK, the Goose & Swan Monitoring Programme (GSMP) and affiliated schemes monitor the abundance (i.e. population size) and breeding success of native, migratory species of geese and swans through co-ordinated winter counts...
Article
Identifying temporal and spatial patterns in demography is critical to understanding long‐term fluctuations in population size. Common Eider Somateria mollissima numbers have shown a long‐term decline, resulting in the species being uplisted in 2015 to ‘Endangered’ within European Union countries. Obtaining improved estimates of survival rates of C...
Article
Analyses of 2280 re-encounters made during 2014–20 of 300 adult British Greylag Geese Anser anser marked at Windermere, Cumbria, in summers 2013–16 are used to describe the patterns of their moult migration. Results show that birds moulting at Windermere are migrating mainly from the nearby counties of Lancashire, North Yorkshire and West Yorkshire...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change is driving worldwide shifts in the distribution of biodiversity, and fundamental changes to global avian migrations. Some arctic-nesting species may shorten their migration distance as warmer temperatures allow them to winter closer to their high-latitude breeding grounds. However, such decisions are not without risks, since this int...
Article
Full-text available
Many species of large herbivore rely on agricultural land for their feeding habitats, but available food resources are highly variable in space and time. The conservation and management of farmland-dependant herbivores would therefore benefit from predictions about how species will respond to changes in their environment. We developed an individual...
Article
Full-text available
Until recently, almost nothing was known about the migration routes, flyway structure and population status of the Mute Swan Cygnus olor in East Asia. Here, we use a combination of GPS telemetry data, collar resightings, published literature and expert advice to update existing knowledge of its summer and winter distribution in the region, and to p...
Chapter
This 381-paged book covers the biology, ecology, impact and management of 34 common alien invasive species, with reviews on the history and context of avian introductions and invasions in five major regions (Oceania, Africa, Europe (including the Middle East, Asia and South America)), as well as management challenges and the potential of citizen sc...
Article
Full-text available
A pervasive publication bias, whereby studies that report positive results are prioritised over those that report negative findings, has been shown to exist in the disciplines that conservation practice and policy draw information from. The bias reflects the preferential submission of positive results by scientists and the preferential publication...
Chapter
Native to the Palearctic region, including Europe, the Mute Swan has also been introduced to areas beyond its native range, most notably to North America. During the Middle Ages, wild birds were present in NE parts of Europe, but in the NW birds were typically bred in captivity. However, the Mute Swan has re-established itself as a wild species and...
Article
Full-text available
The ability of a species to adapt to environmental change is ultimately reflected in its vital rates - i.e., survival and reproductive success of individuals. Together, vital rates determine trends in numbers, commonly monitored using counts of species abundance. Rapid changes in abundance can give rise to concern, leading to calls for research int...
Article
Full-text available
Background Our understanding of any impacts of swans on other waterbirds (including other swans), and potential effects on waterbird community structure, remain limited by a paucity of fundamental behavioural and ecological data, including which species swans interact aggressively with and how frequently such interactions occur. Methods Behavioura...
Article
Full-text available
Given their popularity with researchers and public alike, together with their well-documented importance in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, fundamental and applied research on swans continues to develop in the 21st century. The 6th International Swan Symposium (6th ISS), was held at the Estonian University of Life Sciences in Tartu, Estonia, in...
Article
Full-text available
Coordinated international censuses of the Northwest European Bewick’s Swan Cygnus columbianus bewickii population have been undertaken across the swans’ wintering range at c. 5-year intervals since 1984. During the early years of the study, numbers increased steadily to a peak of 29,780 individuals in January 1995, but then declined by 39.4% to 18,...
Article
Full-text available
Our understanding of how energy shapes animal behavioural decisions has been limited by the difficulty of measuring directly the energy gain and expenditure in free-living animals. Mechanistic models that simulate energy gain and expenditure from estimable parameters can overcome these limitations and hence could help scientists to gain a predictiv...
Article
The north-west European population of Bewick’s Swan Cygnus columbianus bewickii declined by 38% between 1995 and 2010 and is listed as ‘Endangered’ on the European Red List of birds. Here, we combined information on food resources within the landscape with long-term data on swan numbers, habitat use, behaviour and two complementary measures of body...
Article
Full-text available
Recent national and international policy initiatives have aimed to reduce the exposure of humans and wildlife to lead from ammunition. Despite restrictions, in the UK, lead ammunition remains the most widespread source of environmental lead contamination to which wildlife may be exposed. The risks arising from the use of lead ammunition and the mea...
Article
Full-text available
Killing protected species mistaken for morphologically similar quarry species, or species with weaker protection, can hinder their conservation. Despite policy aims to reduce threats from illegal killing, information is lacking on susceptible species, conservation impacts and the identification accuracy of hunters. We examined the ability of hunter...
Article
Full-text available
Duck populations tend to have male-biased adult sex ratios (ASRs). Changes in ASR reflect species demographic rates; increasingly male-biased populations are at risk of decline when the bias results from falling female survival. European and North African Common Pochard Aythya ferina numbers have declined since the 1990s and show increasing male bi...
Article
Full-text available
Assessments of body condition can provide useful information on changes in the state of individuals within a population, which may in turn help to inform conservation efforts. For example, decreases in body condition over time can indicate reduced food resources. Mass and skull length measures recorded for 195 adult and 467 first winter (cygnets) B...
Article
Full-text available
The role of herbivores in regulating aquatic plant dynamics has received growing recognition from researchers and managers. However, the evidence for herbivore impacts on aquatic plants is largely based on short-term exclosure studies conducted within a single plant growing season. Thus, it is unclear how long herbivore impacts on aquatic plant abu...
Article
Full-text available
Aquatic plants fulfil a wide range of ecological roles, and make a substantial contribution to the structure, function and service provision of aquatic ecosystems. Given their well-documented importance in aquatic ecosystems, research into aquatic plants continues to blossom. The 14th International Symposium on Aquatic Plants, held in Edinburgh in...
Article
Following increases in numbers during the second half of the 20th century, several Arctic-breeding migrant bird species are now undergoing sustained population declines. These include the northwest European population of Bewick’s Swan (Cygnus columbianus bewickii), which declined from ~29 000 birds on the winter grounds in 1995 to 18 000 in 2010. I...
Article
Predictive models can take many years to develop, yet as practitioners we need to address conservation problems urgently. Our Letter highlights the need of practitioners for the insights of predictive models, and how conservation scientists can work with practitioners to overcome obstacles that can prevent their implementation. Without the concerte...
Article
Full-text available
Assessments of the sex ratio among Common Pochard Aythya ferina flocks were undertaken in countries across Europe and into North Africa in January 2016, for comparison with results from surveys carried out over the same area in January 1989 and January 1990. The mean (± 95% CI) proportions of males in the population were estimated as 0.617 (0.614-0...
Article
Aggressive behavioural interactions between animals are widespread in nature, with ecological and evolutionary consequences of such interactions reported for both individuals giving and receiving aggression. Yet despite the importance of aggressive interactions in determining social dominance and conferring fitness benefits to successful individual...
Article
Full-text available
Assessing the impacts of invasive organisms is a major challenge in ecology. Some widespread invasive species such as crayfish are potential competitors and reciprocal predators of ecologically and recreationally important native fish species. Here, we examine the effects of signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) on the growth, diet, and trophi...
Article
Population declines among migratory Arctic-breeding birds are a growing concern for conservationists. To inform the conservation of these declining populations, we need to understand how demographic rates such as breeding success are influenced by combinations of extrinsic and intrinsic factors. In this study we examined inter-annual variation and...
Chapter
Full-text available
It has been long known that wildlife management is often more about working with people than with wildlife (Gilbert 1971). Much of this people management occurs as top down conservation measures codified in rules, regulations, and laws. When such measures are enforced, or when there is an absence thereof, both people and wildlife can be affected; t...
Article
Full-text available
Recent decades have seen great advances in ecological modelling and computing power, enabling ecologists to build increasingly detailed models to more accurately represent ecological systems. To better inform environmental decision-making, it is important that the predictions of these models are expressed in simple ways that are straightforward for...
Article
Kleptoparasitism involves the theft of resources such as food items from one individual by another. Such food-stealing behaviour can have important consequences for birds, in terms of individual fitness and population sizes. In order to understand avian host–kleptoparasite interactions, studies are needed which identify the factors which modulate t...
Article
Full-text available
Changes in climate, food abundance and disturbance from humans threaten the ability of species to successfully use stopover sites and migrate between non-breeding and breeding areas. To devise successful conservation strategies for migratory species we need to be able to predict how such changes will affect both individuals and populations. Such pr...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The purpose of this project was to assess the mussel (Mytilus edulis) food requirements of oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus) in the Exe Estuary, which has been designated a Special Protection Area for overwintering waterbirds, including oystercatcher. The overwintering oystercatcher population of the Exe Estuary has been well-studied, and the b...
Chapter
The crystal clear waters of the chalk rivers of southern and eastern England are dominated by a keystone plant species, water crowfoot Ranunculus penicillatus ssp. pseudofluitans, which supports an ecosystem of high conservation value, including abundant invertebrates and fish (Berrie, 1992). This ecosystem has supported the development of economic...
Chapter
The world is undergoing rapid change from increasing human pressure. The scale and intensity of this change are deeply worrying from a conservation perspective. For example, we see severe threats to species, habitat and ecosystems from poaching (Maisels et al., 2013), the illegal use of poison (Ogada, 2014), over-harvesting (Pinsky and Palumbi, 201...
Chapter
Full-text available
The conservation of biodiversity is an increasingly challenging endeavour. Current pressures from a growing human population have led to concerns of a sixth mass extinction event, bringing mounting pressure to find effective ways of conserving biodiversity (Barnosky et al., 2011). However, our ability to meet this challenge is affected by the fact...
Chapter
The intertidal areas of UK coasts are important habitats for shellfish species, such as cockles Cerastoderma edule and mussels Mytilus edulis. Commercial harvesting of shellfish is worth an annual £250 million to the UK economy, providing both food and employment (DEFRA, 2013). These shellfish are also the principal food resource for overwintering...
Book
Full-text available
Conflicts over the conservation of biodiversity are increasing and are serious obstacles to wildlife conservation efforts worldwide. Changing patterns in land use, over-exploitation, pollution, climate change and the threat posed by invasive species all challenge the way we currently maintain and protect biodiversity - from the local management of...
Chapter
Conflicts over the conservation of biodiversity are increasing and are serious obstacles to wildlife conservation efforts worldwide. Changing patterns in land use, over-exploitation, pollution, climate change and the threat posed by invasive species all challenge the way we currently maintain and protect biodiversity - from the local management of...
Chapter
Conflicts over the conservation of biodiversity are increasing and are serious obstacles to wildlife conservation efforts worldwide. Changing patterns in land use, over-exploitation, pollution, climate change and the threat posed by invasive species all challenge the way we currently maintain and protect biodiversity - from the local management of...
Book
Full-text available
Conflicts over the conservation of biodiversity are increasing and are serious obstacles to wildlife conservation efforts worldwide. Changing patterns in land use, over-exploitation, pollution, climate change and the threat posed by invasive species all challenge the way we currently maintain and protect biodiversity-from the local management of si...
Article
Full-text available
Effective wildlife management is needed for conservation, economic and human well-being objectives. However, traditional population control methods are frequently ineffective, unpopular with stakeholders, may affect non-target species, and can be both expensive and impractical to implement. New methods which address these issues and offer effective...
Article
Waterbirds can move into and exploit new areas of suitable habitat outside of their native range. One such example is the little egret (Egretta garzetta), a piscivorous bird which has colonised southern Britain within the last 30 years. Yet, habitat use by little egrets within Britain, and how such patterns of habitat exploitation compare with nati...
Article
Full-text available
The evidence shows that swan grazing can reduce plant abundance, prevent flowering, reduce water depth and reduce fishery value. However, these effects seem to be limited to a small number of sites on larger chalk streams. The results of attempted management have been disappointing, and we currently have no simple effective means of preventing graz...
Article
Foragers typically attempt to consume food resources that offer the greatest energy gain for the least cost, switching between habitats as the most profitable food resource changes over time. Optimal foraging models require accurate data on the gains and costs associated with each food resource to successfully predict temporal shifts. Whilst previo...
Technical Report
Full-text available
In this report we use a recently-developed spreadsheet model to predict the overwinter food requirements of two shorebird species, oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus) and red knot (Calidris canutus), within the Solway Firth. The model is based on the energy requirements of the birds together with the energy value of their shellfish food. The mode...
Technical Report
Full-text available
In UK estuaries conflicts have routinely occurred between economic and conservation interests regarding shellfish such as cockles Cerastoderma edule and mussels Mytilus edulis. The harvest of these species is economically important, but shellfish also constitute the main overwinter food supply of the oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus. In this rep...
Article
Capsule: The Mute Swan, a large generalist herbivore, showed patterns of habitat use influenced by social grouping and season. Territorial swans showed strong preferences for river and lake habitat in all seasons, while the non-territorial birds known to cause grazing conflicts preferred river in summer–autumn and pasture in winter–spring. Aims: T...
Technical Report
Full-text available
In northwest Europe conflicts have routinely occurred between economic and conservation interests regarding shellfish such as cockles and mussels. The harvest of these species is economically important, but shellfish also constitute the main overwinter food supply of the oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus. In this report we describe attempts to pr...
Article
Full-text available
Abundant herbivores can damage plants and so cause conflict with conservation, agricultural, and fisheries interests. Management of herbivore populations is a potential tool to alleviate such conflicts but may raise concerns about the economic and ethical costs of implementation, especially if the herbivores are 'charismatic' and popular with the p...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding plant community responses to combinations of biotic and abiotic factors is critical for predicting ecosystem response to environmental change. However, studies of plant community regulation have seldom considered how responses to such factors vary with the different phases of the plant growth cycle. To address this deficit we studied...