Moors “vital” for curlew
Curlews are thriving on Scottish moorlands due to careful conservation work and management, says the Scottish Moorland Group.
The curlew is in serious decline across much of Scotland and the bird was recently named as this year’s “Bird of Focus” for the RSPB Scotland’s Big Nature Festival. The RSPB wishes to introduce the licensing of grouse moors, but the Scottish Moorland Group says it is managed moorland that provides a safe-haven for the endangered bird.
The social, economic and conservation benefits of managed moorland in Scotland has been recognised by two European Union Parliamentary groups.
Tim Baynes, director of the Group, said: “On grouse moors, wetland is maintained and predator numbers are controlled. We believe grouse moors play a vital role in enabling the UK to fulfil its obligation to look after around a quarter of the world’s breeding curlew population.”
Dr Adam Smith, director Scotland of the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, added: “The control of common predators such as crows and foxes significantly improves, by more than three times, the breeding success of curlew, lapwing and golden plover — all species of conservation concern.”