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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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.”

The Scottish Deer Centre (Part 1) – WILDCATS

THE SCOTTISH DEER CENTRE

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

The Scottish Deer Centre

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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.”

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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.

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Scottish Wildcat Could Be Extinct ‘Within Two Years’

A scientist who has developed a genetic test to identify pure Scottish wildcats has warned that the species could be extinct within two years.

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Red Squirrel (Loch of the Lowes 2013)


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Hen Harrier Numbers Falling Dramatically

Bird watchers and hillwalkers are being asked to keep an eye out for hen harriers in an attempt to conserve their numbers.

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Survey Suggests Pine Marten Numbers Recovering

One of Scotland’s rarest carnivores is showing signs of recovery after years of declining populations, a new report has suggested.

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Former Colliery Near Bo’ness Given Official Local Nature Reserve Status

An abandoned colliery site near Bo’ness has been given

official local nature reserve status by Scottish Natural Heritage.

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