Monitoring and conserving Scotland's birds of prey
Mull Eagle Watch scoops multiple nature tourism awards
26 November 2016
Mull Eagle Watch is a community-based partnership offering visitors the opportunity to enjoy guided trips to see white-tailed eagles without disturbing them. The project has been running since 2000 and the partners include RSPB Scotland, Forestry Commission Scotland, Mull & Iona Community Trust, Police Scotland and SNH. The project has become a national wildlife attraction and draws in £5 million to the local economy every year. This year the project has deservedly won two awards: the Innovation in Tourism Award at the Highlands & Islands Tourism Awards and the Nature Tourism Award at the RSPB's Nature of Scotland Awards. Many congratulations to all at Mull Eagle Watch!
Scottish Government publishes 2015 Annual Wildlife Crime Report
25 November 2016
The Scottish Government has published its fourth annual report on wildlife crime, which provides data on each of the National Wildlife Crime Priority Areas (badger persecution, bat persecution, CITES issues, fresh water pearl mussels, poaching, and raptor persecution). Unfortunately, a number of confirmed raptor persecution crimes have not been included in the report. The reason for these omissions is not clear but the failure to present a full set of data prevents any meaningful year to year analysis and undermines confidence in the robustness of this report. Further commentary here and here.
National survey reveals mixed fortunes for Scotland's golden eagle population
10 November 2016
The results of the 2015 national golden eagle survey have been released, revealing mixed fortunes in different regions. The survey, undertaken by licensed SRSG members and RSPB fieldworkers, was a follow up to the previous national survey that was completed in 2003. Overall, there has been a 15% increase in the golden eagle population, rising from 442 pairs in 2003 to 508 pairs in 2015. This is excellent news, as the golden eagle can now be considered to be in 'favourable' conservation status. However, this overall increase masks some shocking regional figures which are of great concern. Golden eagles continue to flourish in the west, and there has been a welcome marked increase in parts of central Scotland, but golden eagles continue to be absent from large parts of the Eastern Highlands where less than one third of home ranges were occupied. Many of the vacant territories are on land managed for driven grouse shooting, where illegal persecution is prominent. Further information about the 2015 survey results can be found here and here.
2016: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, Sept,Oct,
2015: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, Sept,Oct, Nov, Dec,
2014: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, Sept,Oct, Nov, Dec
2013: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec,
2012: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, Sept,Oct, Nov, Dec.