Spent yesterday afternoon at the Argaty Red Kite hide and would highly recommend a visit to Central Scotland’s only feeding station for these impressive raptors. Situated on a working farm, it’s a great example of wildlife conservation and farming coexisting and providing a valuable source of tourism revenue to the local economy. Between 1989 and 2009, RSPB Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage conducted an ambitious reintroduction project for this severely persecuted species, having become extinct in Scotland as a breeding bird during the late 19th Century following their once widespread population becoming decimated by sporting estates, egg collectors and taxidermy. With their help, Lerrocks Farm continues to play a vital role in their revival, through supplementary feeding and education. Continue reading Red Kite Reintroduction Flying High At Argaty→
This was the headline finding from the Scottish Natural Heritage [SNH] report published today, following dedicated long-term data collection primarily by volunteers with the British Trust for Ornithology [BTO] and Joint Nature Conservation Committee [JNCC] Breeding Bird Survey. Farmland bird numbers were also found to have risen substantially, whereas upland and wader species have seen considerable declines. Woodland birds with the greatest proliferations include the Great Spotted Woodpecker – up 530% – and the Chiffchaff, up an incredible 752%.
Southern Scotland could once again become a stronghold for this majestic raptor, following over £1 million of funding having now been secured by the initiative from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The project seeks to substantially boost their numbers in the Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway, with just three breeding pairs believed to exist in the regions currently. If the plans come to fruition, a further sixteen breeding pairs could be released, reinforcing what is a most precarious population. Continue reading The South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project→
Disappointed to read in the latest copy of BBC Wildlife Magazine that a thriving colony of 200 wild beavers in the Tayside region of Scotland are being killed, due to the perceived risk they pose to crops and farmland. My immediate reaction: this situation could have been avoided. The first sightings of their return to the region were recorded as far back as fifteen years ago – allowing plenty time for a plan to be put in place to minimise any conflicts. Yes, farmers have a right to protect their livelihood and a compensation scheme should have been set up to reimburse farmers, gamekeepers and landowners for any damage to their produce and land. No such scheme was implemented, as this colony is an unlicensed population, unofficially reintroduced either deliberately or accidentally from private collections. The Beaver is after all a native species and should not be culled for simply following its natural instincts.