Galloway home to ‘conservation important’ birds

Golden eagle
Golden eagle

A pioneering study of bird communities in Galloway has recorded 29 species “of conservation importance” which are thriving on local land.

The report published by SNH this week looked at five areas situated between the edges of commercial conifer plantations and open moorland in the Galloway Forest Park.

The survey areas, owned by Forestry Commission Scotland, host shrubs with young trees and open ground, forming a moorland fringe which is home to many of the species.

Rob Soutar, Forest District manager, Galloway Forest District said: “The woodland fringe habitat we are creating is inspired and informed by natural treeline woodland and invigorated by this excellent research. This SNH report helps us improve our planting specifications and encourages us to expand this habitat throughout the Galloway Forest Park as a means to increase the range and number of bird species of conservation concern.”

Christine Welsh of SNH said: “This is the first study to look specifically at bird communities in moorland fringe habitat and we are interested in the range and number of species recorded in the survey.

“This work is valuable for the future management of woodland edges. Indeed Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) has already used it as a tool for their forest management in Galloway. The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) who carried out the field survey has published a paper in Bird Study about the report’s findings.”