Collating current evidence on wild ungulate species population management : Owain Barton publishes first paper in PLoS ONE

A photograph of two fallow deer

Bangor University KESS 2 PhD candidate Owain Barton has published his first paper in the academic journal PLoS ONE (Impact Factor 3.24). Owain’s research investigates factors influencing landscape-scale use of woodlands by fallow deer and is conducted in collaboration with The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust ( and The British Deer Society (

The aim of this study was to identify and collate current evidence on the effects of population management on wild ungulate species (deer and wild pigs/goats/sheep in the UK). Over recent decades, the abundance and geographic ranges of wild ungulate species have expanded in many parts of Europe, including the UK. Populations are managed to mitigate their ecological impacts using interventions such as shooting, fencing and administering contraception.

Predicting how target species will respond to interventions is critical for developing sustainable management strategies. However, the quantity and quality of evidence of the effects of interventions on ungulate species is unclear. Evidence for the effects of population management on wild ungulate species is growing but currently limited and unevenly distributed across intervention types, outcomes and species.

Owain says,

“We’re really pleased to publish our research in an open access journal. Everyone is free to access the information and use it to further our understanding of how wildlife species respond to management. It’s an absolutely essential step in ensuring our practices are effective and sustainable.”

Owain’s supervisor Dr Graeme Shannon added,

“Owain has done an excellent job of collating the available evidence on the effects of management on wild ungulate biology, which has revealed crucial insights into the state of the knowledge as well as key gaps in our understanding. It is great to see this research published – particularly as it is Owain’s first paper, as well as the first publication of the wider deer research group at Bangor University”.

The publication can be viewed at:

“The effects of population management on wild ungulates: A systematic map of evidence for UK species” – Owain Barton, Amy Gresham, John R. Healey, Line S. Cordes, Graeme Shannon