NatureScot Commissioned Report 545: Spatial and structural habitat requirements of black grouse in Scottish forests
NatureScot, Forest Enterprise Scotland, the Cairngorms National Park Authority and the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust carried out a research project between August 2009 and September 2012 to investigate habitat use of black grouse in Scotland, particularly with regards to the extent and nature of use of forests. Eighty-nine black grouse were radio-tagged in highland Perthshire. Lek survey data were also collected there and in three other regions (Argyll, Galloway and Inverness). Moorland use dominated at the scale of individual home-ranges and lekking groups, while the type of forests used differed between males and females and use of large-scale plantations was generally limited to within 600 m of their external edge. Given forest expansion policies in Scotland, the report recommends that black grouse conservation will require the conservation of large moorland patches adjacent to forest, the provision of a diverse forest age structure and species composition within reach of leks, and constructive management of commercial forest edges to facilitate access to forest habitats.
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