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 SPCA REPORTS HUGE RISE IN CYGNET RESCUES

The Scottish SPCA has reported a 100% rise in the number of sick, injured and orphaned cygnets coming into its care.

29th May 2013 (Cygnets) 039
The Scottish SPCA said it had rescued 127 swans so far this year

The animal charity said it was currently caring for 43 mute swan cygnets, double the number it cared for during the same period last year.

Welfare officers have rescued 127 swans so far this year, 70 of which have been juveniles.

All the swans are taken to the Scottish SPCA’s rescue centre near Alloa in Clackmannanshire.

Centre Manager Colin Seddon said,

“There isn’t one single reason for the increase although we do feel that more people than ever now know to contact us, rather than the RSPCA or the RSPB, if they see a wild animal in distress.

“Some of the cygnets have been found wandering on roads and car parks while others have been attacked by animals, such as dogs, or have been chased off ponds by more dominant swans.

“They are very territorial creatures and sadly competition for nesting and breeding sites is fierce.”

Mr Seddon said that once the animals are old enough to be independent they are released back into the wild.

He added:

“We release cygnets at the time when they are normally dispersing from their parents and at sites where food is provided to help them through their first winter.

“These are sites already frequented by wild-reared swans of all ages so it’s a great introduction for them.”

Red Squirrel (Loch of the Lowes 2013)


Continue reading “Red Squirrel (Loch of the Lowes 2013)”

Roe Deer at Sheriffmuir (2013)

FWN took a ride up to Sheriffmuir and were delighted to spot four Roe Deer in the long grass, we quickly got out a camcorder and managed to film them as they made off and jumped the fence in the distance.