Concern as Inversnaid Feral Goat Cull Resumes

RSPB Scotland has resumed a controversial cull of feral goats on the eastern shore of Loch Lomond.

The environmental organisation is facing criticism from local people, who fear the cull could wipe out the entire population of goats around Inversnaid.

The animals are popular with tourists and walkers on the West Highland Way.

But their voracious appetites cause problems for conservationists and RSPB Scotland says it needs to protect the rich woodland habitat.

It wants to reduce goat numbers in the Inversnaid area from about 69 to 30 in the coming years.

Reserves manager Robert Coleman said:

“This is Scotland’s rainforest. We’ve got a huge range of moss and lichen here. In fact, 5% of all of the world’s moss species are represented in Scotland and this habitat is an excellent example of that diversity.

“By managing the herbivores, deer and goats, we can ensure the longevity of this habitat and make sure there are trees, mosses and lichens in the future while ensuring we maintain the populations of herbivores within the area as well.”

Feral goats on the banks of Loch Lomond are popular with tourists
Feral goats on the banks of Loch Lomond are popular with tourists

Twenty goats are due to be shot this year. The local community council and the British Feral Goat Research Group believe the remaining population may be too small to survive a series of harsh winters.

Community councillor Andre Goulancourt told BBC Scotland:

“If the goats were at a low number and we had two or three successive bad winters then we would end up with no goats.

“These goats have been here for a long time and they represent an asset to the tourist industry that Inversnaid depends on. The local people enjoy seeing them too and it would be a great loss if the goats were to disappear.”

‘Important elements’

But Scottish Natural Heritage has backed the cull.

Alan McDonnell, of SNH, said:

“A recent survey found that goat numbers are higher than previously thought, and the cull is necessary to bring numbers down to a more sustainable level. Pollochro Woods is a protected natural site and part of the Loch Lomond Woods Special Area of Conservation.

“The protected features in these woods include the native woodland habitat itself, mosses and lichens — which are all threatened and important elements of Scotland’s nature.”

Meanwhile, Forestry Commission Scotland has pledged to consult with the local community on plans to reduce goat numbers in the wider area.

A spokesman said:

“There is a real need to balance the long-term restoration and management of Loch Katrine, Loch Ard and surrounding areas with the increasing numbers of feral goats.

“Managing the feral goat population also reduces the risk of them becoming a hazard for road users in the area. This is done in consultation with the local communities so that we can fully explain what we are doing and why.”

Story reported by BBC

FWN filmed some wild goats two years ago near Loch Katrine, amazing to see these interesting animals in there natural habitat. Surely a reintroduction of wild cat and Lymx would keep the deer and goat numbers down if these organizations are that concerned about them damaging the environment.

Man!!!  is the most destructive element in climate and environments.

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Grey Squirrel at Stirling University (5th November 2013)

Another reason for me going to the University was to film some grey squirrels. As soon as I got to the wooded area I spotted one of these charming fellows, darting around the golden leaves on the ground.

So fascinating to watch these busy little animals always on the move and ever watchful constantly caching food supplies for the winter.This makes it incredibly difficult to film them, but I think I got some good shots here.

Earlier in the year we had taken a journey up to the Loch of the Lowes wildlife reserve where we had filmed Red Squirrels.They are a lot smaller than the grey and its the Reds, that are our native species but they have been almost driven out by the greys unfortunately.

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“Two different squirrels: the facts”

The grey squirrel(Sciurus carolinensis)

The grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)

Size: between 540 and 660 g in weight.

Appearance: upper fur is mainly grey with mid-brown along the upper back and chestnut over the flanks, limbs and feet. Their underside is white. The tail hairs are grey, banded with brown and black and a characteristic white fringe.They have no ear tufts,pale ears and have a larger, more robust build.

Food: Grey squirrels share food sources with reds. However, unlike red squirrels; grey squirrels can feed on seeds with high tannin content, such as acorns, thanks to differences in digestive physiology. As a result, more food sources are available to them and grey squirrels tend to put on 20% in body weight over the autumn, compared with 10% for reds. This gives grey squirrels an advantage in hard winters.

Distribution: 200,000 and 300,000 in Scotland (around three million in England). Grey squirrels have expanded across Scotland’s entire central belt and are now spreading northwards through Angus, Perth and Kinross and Stirling. There is also a population of grey squirrels in Aberdeen city which is now spreading across Aberdeenshire. In south Scotland, grey squirrels carrying squirrelpox, are moving in from England.

Habitat: prefer oak, beech, sweet-chestnut and horse-chestnut habitats. Due to more efficient digestive processes, these habitats can support larger numbers of grey squirrels than red squirrels. Grey squirrels can also make use of conifer habitats (mainly Scots pine and Norway spruce) especially if there is good broadleaved habitat within 1 mile.

Threats: Minimal, aside from human control efforts and road kill.

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The red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris)

 

The red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris)

Size: between 270 and 340 g in weight.

Appearance: despite their name, red squirrels can have coats ranging from almost black to chestnut or light brown on the back. The chest and stomach are white. They are famed for their characteristically long eartufts, which are especially prominent in winter.

Food: eats mainly tree seeds but in spring and early summer also eats the buds, flowers and shoots of both deciduous and coniferous trees. Other foods include fungi, fruits, berries, caterpillars and even birds’ eggs. Unlike grey squirrels, red squirrels cannot digest seeds with high tannin content, such as acorns, which limits the food sources available for reds.

Distribution: 75% (around 121,000) of the UK red squirrel population is found in Scotland. In the north, strong populations still exist in areas as yet uncolonised by grey squirrels. Red squirrels can also be found in some parts of central Scotland as ‘pocket’ populations and, although much reduced from their former range, can still be found in many parts of southern and south-western Scotland. The last remaining populations of red squirrels in mainland England are found in Northumberland, Cumbria, North Yorkshire and North Merseyside, which are continuous with the south Scotland populations.

Habitat: typically conifer forests to broadleaf woodland; favours Scots pine and Norway spruce forests, but also enjoys hazel and beech. They can also live in mountainous areas (with altitudes of 425 metres near Aberdeen).

Threats: Competition from grey squirrels, squirrelpox virus, habitat fragmentation and road kill.

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A Covey of Grey Partridges (October 2013)

The South of England has took a severe battering on the weather front during the night, this is usually what we in Scotland get quite often, but it has only been a lot of rain that our weather gods have commended upon us up here.

Today I took a ride to the Swans pond , where there is quite a few ducks, more than last time. I threw them some brown bread but I only encouraged the scavenging seagulls who are always milling about the pond these days.

In the field to the back of me sitting on the telephone post were loads of Starlings, I wondering how long the will be here before the long flight southwards.

As I cycled along what was the old railway line, and is now the cycle path, I looked to the field to my left and saw a gang of brownish birds running through the

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Grey Partridge

Perdix_perdix_(Marek_Szczepanek)
Grey Partridge

The Grey Partridge (Perdix perdix) also known as the English Partridge, Hungarian Partridge, or Hun, is a gamebird in the pheasant family Phasianidae of the order Galliformes, gallinaceous birds.

This partridge breeds on farmland across most of Europe into western Asia, and has been introduced widely into North America.
The Grey Partridge is a rotund bird, 28–32 cm long, brown-backed, with grey flanks and chest. The belly is white, usually marked with a large chestnut-brown horse-shoe mark in males, and also in many females.

Hens lay up to twenty eggs in a ground nest.The nest is usually in the margin of a cereal field, most commonly Winter wheat.

Young Grey Partridges are mostly yellow-brown and lack the distinctive face and underpart markings.

The song is a harsh kieerr-ik, and when disturbed, like most of the gamebirds, it flies a short distance on rounded wings, often calling rick rick rick as it rises. They are a seed-eating species, but the young in particular take insects as an essential protein supply.

During the first 10 days of life, the young can only digest insects. The parents lead their chicks to the edges of cereal fields, where they can forage for insects. They are also a non-migratory terrestrial species, and form flocks outside the breeding season.

SCOTTISH OSPREYS RELEASED IN SPAIN

Twelve young ospreys taken from nests in Scotland have been released in northern Spain, in an attempt to restore a breeding osprey population in the Basque Country.

One of the ospreys which was releasedThe Spanish authorities asked Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) for assistance with the project last year.
The birds came from the Highlands and Moray after Scottish Natural Heritage issued a special licence.

The young ospreys were said to be “faring well” in their new home.

The birds were released at the Urdaibai estuary, which is used by ospreys migrating between Scotland and West Africa in spring and autumn.

They have been provided with nest platforms and a supply of food, although at least one has now begun catching fish for itself.

The special licence was issued to naturalist Roy Dennis, of the Highland Foundation for Wildlife.

He told BBC Scotland News:

“The species was widely persecuted during the the Middle Ages in countries like Spain because it plundered fish ponds, which were important sources of food for every big house, castle and monastery.”

The project follows what conservationists say was the successful reintroduction of ospreys to Andalucia in southern Spain, which involved birds taken from Scotland, Germany and Finland.
In 2008 the first pair to breed there were identified as a Scottish female and German male.

There are now 13 breeding pairs of ospreys in Andalucia.

Professor Des Thompson, of SNH, said:

“We’re at the stage now where the osprey population here is doing extremely well, so we’re in this privileged position of being able to help other countries restore their populations and that’s a wonderful place to be.”

SEA EAGLE NEST DESTROYED ON SCOTTISH ESTATE

Police are investigating allegations that an eagle’s nest was destroyed in Angus, the BBC has learned.

Felled tree which it is claimed white-tailed eagles had been building a nest in
It has been alleged that a tree containing a white-tailed eagle’s nest was felled

Continue reading “SEA EAGLE NEST DESTROYED ON SCOTTISH ESTATE”

The Scottish Deer Centre (Part 1) – WILDCATS

THE SCOTTISH DEER CENTRE

Continue reading “The Scottish Deer Centre (Part 1) – WILDCATS”

The Scottish Deer Centre

scottish deer centre banner

Mission Statement:

“To promote through its living animals, using managed breeding, environmental education and research; the conservation of Deer species, their habitats and other fauna within, both in Scotland and worldwide.”

Check Website Here

Continue reading “The Scottish Deer Centre”

Wild Lynx To Be Brought Back To Scotland

Wild lynx could be allowed to roam the Scottish countryside for the first time in almost 1,000 years under plans by a group of leading wildlife experts.

Continue reading “Wild Lynx To Be Brought Back To Scotland”

The SCOTTISH CUCKOO WHISPERER

We hope you like our cuckoo film ,

After meeting up with Raymond on the Sherrifmuir above my home in Dunblane,   and after photographing a cuckoo over the past couple of days, where I managed to get  some nice still shots , I  was still looking for some good film footage.

Ray had come to my rescue,  after a discussion between us I informed Ray to get his film camera ready as I was going to call the cuckoo in with an old trick of mimicking the cuckoos call !  first time as well as you can see on the film.

I successfully called the cuckoo in to our location and Raymond as usual got superb film of it with the added bonus of a chaffinch mobbing it.

Well done Ray,
Job done
We now have a Scottish cuckoo whisperer ha ha.ha.!!!!!!!!!!!

>Salmoman100

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Some Of The Photos I Took.

Continue reading “The SCOTTISH CUCKOO WHISPERER”