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Mark Avery | The Common Pheasant
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Mark Avery | The Common Pheasant

The Common Pheasant has become ubiquitous. They are everywhere, walking around fields or lying dead by the side of the road, painted on signs and cards or hanging by the throat in shop windows. Remarkably though, pheasants aren’t native to the UK: they’re introduced. Their original range was predominantly China and western Asia – they’re only here, and here in staggering numbers, because some people like to shoot them. Charlie Moores spoke with renowned conservationist, author and birdwatcher Dr Mark Avery on the publication of an article he’s written for the prestigious monthly journal British Birds titled ‘The Common Pheasant – its status in the UK and the potential impacts of an abundant non-native’. In their discussion they covered a wide range of the issues that Mark raised in his article – from pheasant ecology to predators, lead shot and Lyme’s Disease - but Charlie began by asking him, just how many pheasants are there in the UK…?