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Black Grouse

Why are we willing to fund this package?

Black Grouse is a Biodiversity Action Plan priority species and is on the Scottish Biodiversity List. It is also listed in SNH's Species Action Framework. This is because the subspecies present in the UK occurs nowhere else in the world, and numbers have fallen greatly, at least since the 1970s. Black Grouse occur throughout much of Scotland. However, they appear to be declining in areas south of the central belt and in Argyll and Bute, while stable in areas to the north and east.

What will this package achieve?

This package will help to maintain and increase the Black Grouse population in Scotland. It will achieve this by supporting management that addresses the needs of Black Grouse.

Black Grouse need a mosaic of woodland edge and extensive moorland. These habitats provide food and shelter throughout the year, as well as favourable conditions for breeding. During Springtime, Black Grouse gather at traditional 'lek' sites in the morning where males display competitively and the females select their mates. Habitat management should focus on areas within 1.5 km of lek sites. Effort outside the lek range areas may also be considered, particularly in areas where Black Grouse range expansion is a real possibility.

Lek ranges are substantial areas of land. It may be appropriate for you to collaborate with neighbouring land managers to provide suitable conditions for Black Grouse in the area.

What you can do

You should choose which of the following Options will help deliver the outcome you have selected.

We suggest the following Options may all be appropriate, however, a wider range of Options is likely to be relevant for Black Grouse populations in south and west Scotland, which are likely to have slightly different management requirements to those in north and east Scotland.

These Options will only help achieve the desired outcome in specific circumstances. If you choose any of these, the application system will ask you to explain how you see this Option helping to achieve the outcome. You can select as many, or as few, Options as you think you will need. You must judge which Options will most effectively deliver the desired outcomes taking account of your circumstances.

These Options will help to achieve the desired outcome in specific circumstances:

Other support available under the SRDP

There are other options available under the RDC that can help you manage your land for Black Grouse. These options are available under the Land Managers' Options scheme and they can complement and support your proposals. They include:

  • Management of moorland grazing
  • Wild bird seed mix/unharvested crop
  • Improvement of rush pasture for wildlife
  • Biodiversity cropping on in-bye
  • Retention of winter stubbles

Further Information

More detailed information on managing habitats for Black Grouse conservation can be found here.

Information outlining conservation management and a general map showing black grouse distribution can be found here.