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Beasts and Birds as Farm Pests

Nature volume 130, pages 329330 (03 September 1932) | Download Citation



A THOROUGHLY useful book by an expert naturalist, dealing with mammals and birds as useful or injurious to British agricultural operations, and holding the scales fairly and evenly. Nature, if left alone, strikes a working balance between every animal and its natural enemies, but man's unconscious efforts usually load one scale. The nature of the agriculture is an important matter. Starlings, for example, “do great service in a pastoral country, in a corn-growing land they do great damage”. We hate them among our fruit, but it is possible that they, like many other ‘pests’ are, on a balance, really beneficial on account of the vast numbers of slugs, snails, and insects they consume. Certainly we would suppose that stoats and weasels, so hated by the gamekeeper, by their destruction of rats, mice, and even rabbits, save stored corn and growing crops of many times the value of the occasional poultry that they kill.

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