Tuesday 17 March 2015


The SNH-funded project Understanding Predation is now open, enabling all those with knowledge of  the relationship between predators and wading and wild game birds to get involved.
Using this link: http://www.jottercms.com/showpage.php?id=12411 members can offer their observations on this subject and send them direct to the project team via the home page of the Moorland Forum, which is operating the programme.
We strongly recommend that members take advantage of this rare chance to offer as much detail as possible on this subject, thereby potentially helping to inform future decisions on species management and new conservation approaches.
Following our Year of the Wader, which saw members gather information on wading birds on their ground, this is an opportunity to participate in a novel 'collaborative' approach which will see local knowledge considered alongside science, in the overall findings.
The project will ultimately evaluate the existing effectiveness of management options.
The launch statement read: "Understanding predation will consider predators, not only as a conservation interest in their own right but will also examine how they interact with vulnerable or declining prey species. The reported decline of wading birds is a cause of great concern and this project will provide a better and shared understanding of the role that predation has had in this decline. We will investigate the often-controversial disparity between scientific knowledge and local knowledge arising from the direct observations of local people on the ground. We recognise that these differences can lead to conflict, creating a deadlock between theory and practice, which can seriously hamper constructive progress.
"Through discussion, the project will provide a shared understanding of the issues, and this will form a platform from which to seek agreement about how we can best move forward for the benefit of all wild bird species in Scotland. Taking such a novel approach is likely to provide some challenges, but we believe that the effort is justified by the potential for the work to provide enormous benefits for nature conservation."