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Raptors and forestry

Raptors and forestry often favour the same geographical locations. Their competing needs have led to tensions in the past.

Such tensions have adversely affected some raptor species, like the golden eagle, sea eagle and hen harrier. At the same time, other raptors such as the long-eared owl and goshawk have benefited from forestry practices.

Greater insight into raptor ecology and more flexible approaches to forestry design and management can help to maximise benefits for nature and forestry. This will better support Scottish Government policies and targets for conservation and forestry.

The issues around raptors and forestry are complex and call for the input of a broad spectrum of specialists and practitioners. To facilitate this, Scottish Natural Heritage and Forestry Commission Scotland set up the Raptors and Forestry Joint Working Group in October 2016.

Its members, which include the RSPB, Confederation of Forest Industries (Confor) and the Scottish Raptor Study Group, will review existing knowledge, coordinate research and improve guidance.

The Raptors and Forestry Joint Working Group’s aims are "To identify and promote the opportunities of forestry for raptors to sustainably meet Scottish Government environmental and forestry policy." 

An article on the group appeared in the Scottish Natural Heritage Science Newsletter December 2016 issue