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About Me

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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

12 May, 2010

Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)

I am not sure any 'wild bird' survey or count should include the Pheasant, it is not a natural British species after all.

If they were not bred specifically for 'sport' then there would be no Pheasant here at all. It is only because they are farmed and habitat is managed for them that they survive.

They are an Asian species that seems to have been introduced for food all over Europe and the British Isles by the Romans. That means they have been here c2000 years so they are now pretty British I suppose.

What I find distressing is the practice of many game keepers of killing all possible predators of young Pheasant so that people can pay for the 'pleasure' of doing it. How many birds of prey are illegally poisoned because they might have an impact on farmed Pheasant numbers?

There are less Pheasant in Dorset than were we used to live in Hampshire. On the main road from our village to the nearest town you would see countless dead pheasants killed by cars, and yet the local game keepers would complain that they lost Pheasants to foxes.

Hypocrisy rules it seems!