Heather burning results in “bio­di­ver­sity” say sci­en­tists

Shooting Times & Country Magazine - - FRONT PAGE -

A Scot­tish grouse moor has been praised by in­ter­na­tional con­ser­va­tion­ists for its land man­age­ment ef­forts.

Ger­man sci­en­tists ex­am­in­ing bio­di­ver­sity in Scot­land have been im­pressed by the way the Glenogil es­tate has been man­aged, re­sult­ing in 98 dif­fer­ent bird species be­ing recorded there.

Game Con­ser­vancy Deutsch­land (GCD) has been visit­ing the An­gus Glens es­tate since 2015 and noted that in the past three years there has been an in­crease of 35 bird species. Among the birds dis­cov­ered were red-listed species in­clud­ing curlew, lap­wing, black­grouse and mer­lin. An abun­dance of non-bird species were also found, such as moun­tain hares and lizards.

The re­searchers are cred­it­ing heather burning and preda­tor con­trol as the main driv­ers for the abun­dant wildlife found at Glenogil. Dr Daniel Hoff­man of GCD said: “We wanted to show other es­tates, other coun­tries in Bri­tain and in the whole of Europe, that you can have this bio­di­ver­sity only when you have the eco­log­i­cally cor­rect form of man­age­ment.

“When I was here for the first time it was amaz­ing to see the bio­di­ver­sity. We read pa­pers and ar­ti­cles say­ing that species such as the curlew are en­dan­gered in Bri­tain but you can’t be­lieve that when you are here. Even on th­ese few hectares on Glenogil, we find al­most dou­ble the num­ber of breed­ing pairs of golden plover that you find in the whole of Ger­many. They breed here be­cause the land­scape is man­aged as it is.

“At Glenogil you have habi­tat man­age­ment and pre­da­tion con­trol so the sur­vival rate of our tar­get species is so good.”

Danny Law­son, head­keeper at Glenogil, said: “We’ve been de­lighted to wel­come Dr Hoff­man and his team to demon­strate the man­age­ment tech­niques which work so well at Glenogil.

“Land man­age­ment, es­pe­cially for game­keep­ers on moor­land es­tates, has never been un­der closer scru­tiny. Much has changed in the sec­tor over the past 15 years, in­clud­ing at Glenogil, and it is only fair that we recog­nise where our man­age­ment is cre­at­ing a rich ta­pes­try of wildlife.”

The find­ings are dis­cussed in a film which can be viewed at po.st/glenogil.

Dr Daniel Hoff­man and his team stud­ied a Scot­tish grouse moor

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