Rhys Green

Rhys Green
University of Cambridge | Cam · Department of Zoology

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331
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32,931
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Publications

Publications (331)
Article
Full-text available
Carcasses of common pheasants ( Phasianus colchicus ) killed by hunters using shotguns are widely used or sold in the United Kingdom and elsewhere for human consumption. Almost all of the birds are shot using shotgun pellets composed principally of lead (Pb). Lead shotgun pellets often fragment on impact within the bodies of gamebirds, leaving smal...
Article
The critically endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea breeds in Russia and winters between Bangladesh and China. World population estimates during 2014–2019 suggested a decline at a mean rate of 8% per year. Several surveys of local populations also indicated declines. We report a rapid decline of another local population of the species...
Article
Full-text available
A recent review of the management of hyperabundant macropods in Aus-tralia proposed that expanded professional shooting is likely to lead to better biodiversity and animal welfare outcomes. While the tenets of this general argument are sound, it overlooks one important issue for biodiversity and animal health and welfare: reliance on toxic lead-bas...
Article
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Small game animals are generally hunted with lead gunshot which often fragments causing elevated lead concentrations in meat and presenting health risks to frequent consumers and vulnerable groups. We reviewed three decades of European data on lead concentrations in the meat of gamebirds, rabbits and hares across countries with various restrictions...
Preprint
Carcasses of common pheasants ( Phasianus colchicus ) killed by hunters using shotguns are widely used or sold in the United Kingdom and elsewhere for human consumption. Almost all of the birds are shot using shotgun pellets composed principally of lead (Pb). Lead shotgun pellets often fragment on impact within the bodies of gamebirds, leaving smal...
Article
Poisoning caused by ingestion of spent lead (Pb) ammunition in food items is a common cause of death of raptors. However, there has been no previous attempt to assess the impact of lead poisoning on populations of raptors throughout Europe or examine how this relates to the prevalence of hunting. We used measurements of lead concentration in the li...
Article
Full-text available
In 2020, nine major UK shooting and rural organisations proposed a voluntary transition from the use for hunting of lead shotgun ammunition to non-lead alternatives. The major food retailer Waitrose & Partners has announced its intention to move to not supplying game meat products from animals killed using any kind of lead ammunition and the Nation...
Article
Population declines of Gyps vultures across the Indian subcontinent were caused by unintentional poisoning by the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) diclofenac. Subsequently, a number of other NSAIDs have been identified as toxic to vultures, while one, meloxicam, is safe at concentrations likely to be encountered by vultures in the wild....
Article
Throughout South Asia, cattle are regularly treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and their carcasses are left for scavengers to consume. Residues of the NSAID diclofenac in cattle carcasses caused widespread mortality and catastrophic population declines in three species of Gyps vulture during the 1990s and 2000s. Diclofenac...
Preprint
Full-text available
Throughout South Asia, cattle are regularly treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and their carcasses are left for scavengers to consume. Residues of the NSAID diclofenac in cattle carcasses caused widespread mortality and catastrophic population declines in three species of Gyps vulture during the 1990s and 2000s. Diclofenac...
Preprint
Full-text available
Population declines of Gyps vultures across the Indian subcontinent were caused by unintentional poisoning by the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) diclofenac. Subsequently, a number of other NSAIDs have been identified as toxic to vultures, while one, meloxicam, is safe at concentrations likely to be encountered by vultures in the wild....
Article
Full-text available
Forest loss and degradation are the greatest threats to biodiversity worldwide. Rising global wood demand threatens further damage to remaining native forests. Contrasting solutions across a continuum of options have been proposed, yet which of these offers most promise remains unresolved. Expansion of high-yielding tree plantations could free up f...
Article
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For ground-nesting and colonial bird species, predation of eggs and chicks can exert a strong negative effect on population growth and recovery. For declining populations of waders breeding on lowland wet grassland, predation management tools are available to reduce the impacts of mammalian predators (e.g. lethal control, exclusion), but potential...
Article
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During the Quaternary, large climate oscillations impacted the distribution and demography of species globally. Two approaches have played a major role in reconstructing changes through time: Bayesian Skyline Plots (BSP), which reconstruct population fluctuations based on genetic data, and Species Distribution Models, which allow us to back‐cast th...
Article
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Climate change is having profound effects on the distributions of species globally. Trait-based assessments predict that specialist and range-restricted species are among those most likely to be at risk of extinction from such changes. Understanding individual species’ responses to climate change is therefore critical for informing conservation pla...
Article
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Vultures and condors are among the most threatened avian species in the world due to the impacts of human activities. Negative perceptions can contribute to these threats as some vulture species have been historically blamed for killing livestock. This perception of conflict has increased in recent years, associated with a viral spread of partial a...
Article
A single formal estimate of the size of the world population of the Critically Endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea has been published. This used a Lincoln-Petersen method, which combined a global mark-resighting analysis with a scan survey to estimate the proportion of birds with individual marks observed at a post-breeding moult and...
Article
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Assessments of conservation status are typically based on short-term extinction risk, but the value of indicators that compare the current state of species (e.g., abundance or distribution) to potential baselines is increasingly recognised. The use of baselines in conservation legislation is hindered by ambiguity in how baselines should be determin...
Article
Full-text available
After suffering a massive decline (~ 99%) in numbers caused by feeding on livestock carcasses containing the nephrotoxic drug diclofenac, critically endangered Gyps vultures now persist in low numbers in the Indian subcontinent. Most are concentrated near National Parks, likely due to availability of wild carcasses free from toxic veterinary drugs....
Article
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Effective conservation is often informed by focal species studies to identify beneficial land management interventions. For nocturnal or cryptic species, quantifying habitat use across individually marked animals can allow unbiased assessment of intervention efficacy and identify other important habitats. Here, using a landscape‐scale experiment, w...
Article
Full-text available
There are significant negative effects of exposure to spent lead ammunition on wildlife and human health. A joint statement was issued by nine UK shooting and rural organisations on 24 th February 2020 intended to encourage a voluntary transition to non-lead shotgun ammunition within five years "in consideration of wildlife, the environment and to...
Article
Full-text available
Population declines of the critically endangered Sociable Lapwing are probably due to high mortality along its migration routes or on its wintering grounds, both of which are very poorly known. We therefore undertook a long-term study of the species’ movements using satellite tagging, colour-ringing, targeted field surveys and a database of histori...
Article
Full-text available
There are significant negative effects of exposure to spent lead ammunition on wildlife and human health. A joint statement was issued by nine UK shooting and rural organisations on 24th February 2020 intended to encourage a voluntary transition to non-lead shotgun ammunition within five years “in consideration of wildlife, the environment and to e...
Article
Full-text available
Shooting of birds using lead shotgun ammunition was legal for all quarry species in the UK until 1st September 1999, when the Environmental Protection (Restriction on Use of Lead Shot) (England) Regulations 1999 and similar regulations in other UK countries came into effect. These regulations made it illegal to shoot ducks and geese and some other...
Article
1. Understanding how to allocate land for the sustainable delivery of multiple, competing objectives is a major societal challenge. The land sharing-sparing framework presents a heuristic for understanding the trade-off between food production and biodiversity conservation by comparing region-wide land-use scenarios which are equivalent in terms of...
Article
Critically Endangered Spoon-billed Sandpipers Calidris pygmaea migrate from their breeding grounds in Arctic and subarctic Russia along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway to winter in coastal habitats in south-east Asia. To describe the use of migration stopover and wintering sites during the post-breeding migration, we tracked six adults equipped...
Article
Ingestion of lead (Pb) derived from ammunition used in the hunting of game animals is recognised to be a significant potential source of Pb exposure of wild birds, including birds of prey. However, there are only limited data for birds of prey in Europe regarding tissue concentrations and origins of Pb. Eurasian buzzards (Buteo buteo) found dead in...
Article
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The Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea is a ‘Critically Endangered’ migratory shorebird. The species faces an array of threats in its non-breeding range, making conservation intervention essential. However, conservation efforts are reliant on identifying the species’ key stopover and wintering sites. Using Maximum Entropy models, we predicted...
Article
Full-text available
The catastrophic declines of three species of ‘Critically Endangered’ Gyps vultures in South Asia were caused by unintentional poisoning by the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) diclofenac. Despite a ban on its veterinary use in 2006 (India, Nepal, Pakistan) and 2010 (Bangladesh), residues of diclofenac have continued to be found in catt...
Article
Full-text available
Each year, hunters from 12 of the 27 European Union (EU) countries and the UK shoot over 6 million large game mammals, 12 million rabbits and hares and over 80 million birds. They support an international game meat market worth over 1.1 thousand million Euros. Animals shot with lead ammunition frequently contain lead fragments in the carcass which...
Preprint
Full-text available
Population declines of the critically endangered Sociable Lapwing are probably due to high mortality along its migration routes or on its wintering grounds, both of which are very poorly known. We therefore undertook a long-term study of the species' movements using satellite tagging, colour-ringing and targeted field surveys. We also compiled a da...
Article
Conservation science is a crisis-oriented discipline focused on reducing human impacts on nature. To explore how the field has changed over the past two decades, we analyzed 3245 applications for oral presentations submitted to the Student Conference on Conservation Science (SCCS) in Cambridge, UK. SCCS has been running every year since 2000, aims...
Article
The land sharing-sparing framework aims to quantify the trade-off between food production and biodiversity conservation, but it has been criticized for offering, for reasons of simplicity, an unrealistically limited set of different land uses. Here, we develop the framework to evaluate a much larger suite of land-use strategies in which the areas a...
Article
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We propose a new approach to quantifying a minimum threshold value for the size of an animal population, below which that population might be categorised as having unfavourable status. Under European Union law, the concept of Favourable Conservation Status requires assessment of populations as having favourable or unfavourable status, but quantitat...
Preprint
Full-text available
During the Quaternary, large climate oscillations had profound impacts on the distribution, demography and diversity of species globally. Birds offer a special opportunity for studying these impacts because surveys of geographical distributions, publicly-available genetic sequence data, and the existence of species with adaptations to life in struc...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change is a major global threat to biodiversity with widespread impacts on ecological communities. Evidence for beneficial impacts on populations is perceived to be stronger and more plentiful than that for negative impacts, but few studies have investigated this apparent disparity, or how ecological factors affect population responses to c...
Preprint
Full-text available
Conservation science is a crisis-oriented discipline focused on delivering robust answers to reducing human impacts on nature. To explore how the field might have changed during the past two decades, we analyzed 3,245 applications for oral presentations submitted to the Student Conference on Conservation Science (SCCS) in Cambridge, UK. SCCS has be...
Preprint
Full-text available
An understanding of the factors affecting the diet composition of critically endangered Gyps vultures in the Indian subcontinent has important applications to the design of effective conservation strategies. After suffering a massive decline (~99%) in numbers caused by veterinary use of the nephrotoxic drug diclofenac, vultures now persist in very...
Article
Empirical evidence from four continents indicates that human food demand may be best reconciled with biodiversity conservation through sparing natural habitats by boosting agricultural yields. This runs counter to the conservation paradigm of wildlife-friendly farming, which is influential in Europe, where many species are dependent on low-yielding...
Article
Full-text available
Populations of Critically Endangered White-rumped Gyps bengalensis and Slender-billed G. tenuirostris Vultures in Nepal declined rapidly during the 2000s, almost certainly because of the effects of the use in livestock of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac, which is nephrotoxic to Gyps vultures. In 2006, veterinary use of diclofena...
Article
Full-text available
It has been known for centuries that lead is toxic to humans. Chronic exposure to lead, even at low levels, is associated with an elevated risk of cardiovascular and chronic kidney disease in adults and of impaired neurodevelopment and subsequent cognitive and behavioural development in the foetus and young children. Health agencies throughout the...
Article
Full-text available
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Article
Full-text available
Poisoning of wild birds following ingestion of lead from ammunition has long been recognised and considerable recent research has focused on terrestrial birds, including raptors and scavengers. This paper builds upon previous reviews and finds that both the number of taxa affected and geographical spread of cases has increased. Some lead may also b...
Article
Full-text available
A proposed European Union (EU)-wide restriction on the use of lead gunshot for shooting in and over wetlands estimated that the societal benefits of a restriction outweighed costs, despite few identified benefits being quantified economically. A subsequent Annex XV Investigation Report on the evidence of impacts of lead ammunition in terrestrial en...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Biodiversity Intactness Index measures the average abundance of wild species relative to that in pre-modern times. Recently BII was mapped at a global scale by Newbold et al and consequently has gained traction in policy circles. However, we have some concerns about the accuracy of this map. For example, BII exceeds 90% in many areas that have...
Preprint
The Biodiversity Intactness Index measures the average abundance of wild species relative to that in pre-modern times. Recently BII was mapped at a global scale by Newbold et al and consequently has gained traction in policy circles. However, we have some concerns about the accuracy of this map. For example, BII exceeds 90% in many areas that have...
Article
Full-text available
Empirical evidence from many regions suggests that most species would be least negatively affected if human food demand were met through high‐yield agricultural production and conservation of nonfarm ecosystems (land sparing), rather than through wildlife‐friendly farming over a larger area (land sharing). However, repeated glaciation and a long hi...
Article
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We used microsatellite DNA to assign probable parentage of young Corn Crakes to adult males and females and use these assignments to estimate the distribution of distances between broods of chicks and juveniles and the night‐time singing place of the father at the time of initiation of the clutch. Estimated distances for broods of young chicks were...
Article
1.Land sparing has been proposed as a strategy to reconcile biodiversity conservation with agricultural production, with empirical studies on five continents indicating that most species would benefit if food demand was met through high‐yield farming combined with the protection or restoration of natural habitat. 2.Most such studies come from lands...
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Full-text available
The local movements and migration of two Steppe Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus alboaxillaris, a little known subspecies, were studied opportunistically from February to March 2016, in Maputo Bay, Mozambique. Both birds were found to be part of a local sub-population of ca. 30 Whimbrel which hold individual feeding territories on sandy shoreline. One al...
Article
1.Two solutions, at opposite ends of a continuum, have been proposed to limit negative impacts of human agricultural demand on biodiversity. Under land sharing, farmed landscapes are made as beneficial to wild species as possible, usually at the cost of lower yields. Under land sparing, yields are maximized and land not needed for farming is spared...
Article
The spoon-billed sandpiper Calidris pygmaea , a migratory Arctic-breeding shorebird, is one of the rarest birds and its population has declined since the 1970s. We surveyed its most important known wintering area in the Upper Gulf of Mottama in Myanmar to estimate recent (2009–2016) changes in its numbers there. The total number of small shorebirds...
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How we manage farming and food systems to meet rising demand is pivotal to the future of biodiversity. Extensive field data suggest that impacts on wild populations would be greatly reduced through boosting yields on existing farmland so as to spare remaining natural habitats. High-yield farming raises other concerns because expressed per unit area...
Article
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Climate may influence the distribution and abundance of a species through a number of demographic and ecological processes, but the proximate drivers of such responses are only recently being identified. The Ethiopian Bush‐crow Zavattariornis stresemanni is a corvid that is restricted to a small region of southern Ethiopia. It is classified as Enda...
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The loss of carbon stocks through agricultural land-use change is a key driver of greenhouse gas emissions [1-4], and the methods used to manage agricultural land will have major impacts on the global climate in the 21st century [4-9]. It remains unresolved whether carbon losses would be minimized by increasing farm yields and limiting the conversi...
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Full-text available
Cost data are crucial in conservation planning to identify more efficient and equitable land use options. However, many studies focus on just one cost type and neglect others, particularly those borne locally. We develop, for a high priority conservation area, spatial models of two local costs that arise from protected areas: foregone agricultural...
Article
Cost data are crucial in conservation planning to identify more efficient and equitable land use options. However, many studies focus on just one cost type and neglect others, particularly those borne locally. We develop, for a high priority conservation area, spatial models of two local costs that arise from protected areas: foregone agricultural...
Article
Voluntary sustainability standards have expanded dramatically over the last decade. In the agricultural sector, such standards aim to ensure environmentally and socially sustainable production of a variety of commodity crops. However, little is known about where agricultural certification operates and whether certified lands are best located for co...