Chris Wernham


Associate Director, Country Offices


I am responsible leading the work of BTO Scotland, overseeing our programme of research and the activities that underpin development of our supporter base in Scotland.


BSc (Hons) Ecology, University of Stirling, 1985-1989
PhD “Ecology and energetics of breeding Puffins: variation in individual reproductive effort and success”, University of Stirling, 1990-1993

Research Interests/Responsibilities

My team at BTO Scotland is responsible for a programme of science that is relevant to the Scottish context, with particular expertise in upland/montane/moorland and forestry research, and raptors. We also have research interests in urban issues, seabirds and stakeholder engagement/human-wildlife conflict resolution. My team has the additional responsibility of enhancing the coverage and relevance of BTO-led long-term monitoring schemes in Scotland, and working more generally to increase the BTO’s overall supporter base of Members, volunteers and funders in Scotland.

I have a particular background in avian demography and migration/movements, having previously held the posts of Senior Populations Biologist (Ringing Scheme) and Migration Atlas Project Manager at the BTO. Since joining the BTO in 1996 I have worked on a wide range of applied and policy-driven conservation research, survey and review projects, including: the conflicts of fish-eating birds with fisheries; the population dynamics of Canada Geese; the effects of predatory birds on wildlife in Scotland; demography and management of urban gull populations; goose management policy in Scotland; and other applied work on seabirds (gulls and auks), raptors and geese. I have a particular interest in raptors, and was one of the editors of the field guide to surveying and monitoring raptors. I am BTO’s main representative on the Scottish Raptor Monitoring Group, on behalf of which BTO Scotland employs the Raptor Monitoring Officer, Brian Etheridge.

Other Information

Honorary Lecturer, SBES, University of Stirling
BTO Scotland representative on the Scottish Raptor Monitoring Group
Licensed bird ringer

Selected Publications

Roos, S., Etheridge, B., Cotton, A. & Wernham, C. (In review) Preparation of data from the first six years of the Scottish Raptor Monitoring Scheme (2003-2008), analyzing for trends and set-up of future data management protocols. Report to SNH and the SRMG (Contract No.30458).

Crabtree, R., Humphreys, E., Moxey, A. & Wernham, C. (2011) 2010 Review of Goose Management Policy in Scotland. BTO and CJC Consulting report to the Scottish Government.

Calladine, J., Garner, G., Wernham, C. & Buxton, N. (2010) Variation in the diurnal activity of breeding Short-eared Owls Asio flammeus: implications for their survey and monitoring. Bird Study 27: 89-99.

Calladine, J. & Wernham, C. (2009) Extensive monitoring of rock ptarmigan Lagopus mutus in Scotland: a pilot to test the efficacy of using volunteer surveyors for monitoring arctic-alpine birds. Avocetta 33: 217-224.

Calladine, J., Garner, G., Wernham, C. & Thiel, A. (2009) The influence of survey frequency on population estimates of moorland breeding birds. Bird Study 56: 381-388.

Douglas, D., Austin, G., Wernham, C. & Rehfisch, M. 2009. Analysis of Islay goose datasets to determine the effects of scaring and management factors on goose distributions: Phase II. BTO Research Report No.529 for the Scottish Government. BTO Scotland, Stirling.

Hardey, J., Crick, H.Q.P., Wernham, C.V., Riley, H. & Thompson, D.B.A. 2009. Raptors: a field guide for survey and monitoring. 2nd Edition. The Stationery Office, Edinburgh.

Wernham, C., Riley, H., Calladine, J., Carrington-Cotton, A., Etheridge, E. & Roos, S. 2009. Reviewing the first five years of data for the Scottish Raptor Monitoring Scheme (2003 – 2007), analysing for trends and preparing the 2007 report. BTO report to the Scottish Raptor Monitoring Group.

Harris, C.M., Calladine, J.R., Wernham, C.V. & Park, K. 2008. Impacts of piscivorous birds on salmonid populations and game fisheries in Scotland; a review. Wildlife Biology 14: 395-411.

Kovacs, A., Mammen, U.C.C. & Wernham, C.V. 2008. European monitoring for raptors and owls: state of the art and future needs. Ambio 37: 408-412.

Park, K.J., Graham, K.E., Calladine, J. & Wernham, C.V. 2008 Impacts of birds of prey on gamebirds in the UK: a review. Ibis 150: 9-26.

Wernham, C.V., Etheridge, B., Holling, M., Riddle, G., Riley, H.T., Stirling-Aird, P.K., Stroud, D., Thompson, D.B. & Wilson, J.D. 2008. The Scottish raptor monitoring scheme: Objectives, achievements in the first four years, and plans for future development. Ambio 37: 460-465.

Calladine, J., Wernham, C. & Robertson, D. 2006. The ranging behaviour of some granivorous passerines on farmland in winter determined by mark-recapture ringing and by radio-telemetry. Ibis 148: 169-173.

Pendlebury, C., Wernham, C., & Rehfisch, M. 2006. Analysis of Islay Greenland White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons flavirostris and Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis datasets.BTO Research Report No.420 for the Scottish Government. BTO Scotland, Stirling.

Calladine, J. Crick, H. & Wernham, C.V. 2005. Development of methods for surveying and estimating population size of short-eared owls Aseo flammeus. BTO Research Report No. 394. BTO Scotland, Stirling.

Calladine, J.R., Park, K.J., Thompson, K. & Wernham, C.V. 2005. Review of urban gulls and their management in Scotland. Report to the Scottish Executive.

Park, K.J., Calladine, J.R., Graham, K.E., Stephenson, C.M. & Wernham, C.V. 2005. The impacts of predatory birds on waders, songbirds, gamebirds and fisheries interests. A report to Scotland’s Moorland Forum. BTO Scotland & Centre for Conservation Science, Stirling.

Siriwardena, G.M., Wernham, C.V. & Baillie, S.R. 2004. Quantifying variation in migratory strategies using ring-recoveries. Animal Biodiversity and Conservation 27: 299-31.

Calladine, J., Robertson, D. & Wernham, C. 2003. The movements of some granivorous passerines in winter on farmland: a pilot study. BTO Research Report No.327. BTO, Thetford.

Siriwardena, G.M. & Wernham, C.V. 2002. Chapter 5 – A synthesis of the movement patterns of British and Irish birds. In: Wernham et al. (eds.) The Migration Atlas: Movements of the Birds of Britain and Ireland. T. & A.D. Poyser, London.

Wernham, C.V. & Baillie, S.R. 2002. Chapter 7 – The future of migration studies in bird conservation. In Wernham et al. (Eds.) The Migration Atlas: Movements of the Birds of Britain and Ireland. T. & A.D. Poyser, London.

Wernham, C.V. & Siriwardena, G.M. 2002. Chapter 4 - Analysis and interpretation of ring-recovery data. In: Wernham et al. (eds.) The Migration Atlas: Movements of the Birds of Britain and Ireland. T. & A.D. Poyser, London.

Wernham, C.V., Toms, M.P., Marchant, J.H., Clark, J.A., Siriwardena, G.M. & Baillie, S.R. (eds.) 2002. The Migration Atlas: movements of the birds of Britain and Ireland. T. & A.D. Poyser, London.

Wernham, C.V. 1999. Does rehabilitation work? A review of the results from ringing. Proceedings of the Sea Empress Oil Spill Conference, Cardiff, 11-13 February 1998.

Wernham, C.V. & Peach, W.J. 1999. Use of ringing recoveries to monitor long-term changes in the survival rates of British and Irish Cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo. Bird Study 46 (suppl): 189-197.

Baillie, S.R., Wernham, C.V. & Clark, J.A. 1999. Development of the BTO Ringing Scheme and its role in conservation biology. Ringing & Migration 19 (suppl): S5-19.

Baillie, S.R., Wernham, C.V. & Clark, J.A. (eds.) 1999. Proceedings of the JNCC/BTO Workshop on the Conservation Uses of Ringing Data. Ringing & Migration 19 (suppl).

Wernham, C.V., Peach, W.J, Holloway, S.J., Rehfisch, M.M., Kershaw, M., Hughes, B., Madden, J.R., Harris, R. & Armitage, M. 1999. Population, Distribution, Movement and Survival of Fish-eating Birds in Great Britain. DETR, Bristol.

Wernham, C.V. & Bryant, D.M. 1998. An experimental study of reduced parental effort and future reproductive success in the Puffin Fratercula arctica. Journal of Animal Ecology 67: 25-40.

Wernham, C.V. & Peach, W.J. 1998. Seasonal movements and survival of cormorants: Relevance to conflicts with inland fisheries. In: Adams, N.J. & Slotow, R.H. (eds.) Proceedings of the 22 International Ornithological Congress, Durban. Ostrich 69: 460.

Wernham, C.V. & Williams, A. 1998. Rehabilitation of oiled seabirds. In: Adams, N.J. & Slotow, R.H. (eds.) Proceedings of the 22 International Ornithological Congress, Durban. Ostrich 69: 160.

Wernham, C.V., Baillie, S.R., Clark, J.A., Crick, H.Q.P. & Siriwardena, G.M. 1998. The BTO Integrated Population Monitoring Programme: the contributions of ringing. Acta Zoologica Lituanica Ornithologia 8 (special issue): 93-104. 

Harris, M.P., Freeman, S.N., Morgan, B.J.T., Wanless, S & Wernham, C.V. 1997. Factors influencing the survival of Puffins Fratercula arctica at a North Sea colony over a 20-year period. Journal of Avian Biology 28: 287-295. 

Wernham, C.V., Peach, W.J. & Browne, S. 1997. Survival Rates of Rehabilitated Guillemots. BTO Research Report No. 186 for the Countryside Council for Wales. BTO, Thetford. 

Calladine, J. & Wernham, C. 1996. A Review of the Interactions of Breeding Herring Gulls Larus argentatus and Lesser Black-backed Gulls Larus fuscus with other Nature Conservation Interests, and Relevant Management Options. Report to Scottish Natural Heritage. 

Wernham, C.V., Peach, W.J., Rowcliffe, M. & Austin, G. 1996. Survival and Productivity of British Canada Geese. BTO report to The Department of the Environment.


email: chris.wernham [at]
BTO Scotland
School of Biological & Environmental Sciences
Cottrell Building, University of Stirling
Stirling FK9 4LA
Telephone: 01786 466 560
Fax:  01786 566 561