Six key Scottish species get woodland aid

A programme has been launched to help six key species flourish in woodlands across Scotland, reports the BBC’s Giancarlo Rinaldi.

Forestry Commission Scotland’s new biodiversity plan aims to create “stronger, more adaptable ecosystems”.

It identifies the capercaillie, black grouse, red squirrel, pearl-bordered fritillary, chequered skipper butterfly and juniper as important species.

Scottish Environment Minister Mike Russell launched the plan at the Carrick Forest in Dumfries and Galloway.

He said Scotland’s forests had a key part to play in protecting endangered species.

The criteria for selecting the six species as priorities include:

  • All declining and/or threatened but still widely distributed
  • Scotland holds a large proportion of the UK population
  • Forestry is important to their habitats
  • Managing of these species should have wider biodiversity benefits

“Woodlands – and the open spaces within them – have a vital contribution to make towards conserving Scotland’s threatened habitats and species,” Mr Russell is reported as saying.

“We are very fortunate in Scotland to enjoy a wealth of biodiversity that is for the most part robust and healthy.

“However, some elements are extremely fragile and making sure that they thrive will require some large-scale thinking and landscape scale vision – both of which are forestry sector strengths.”

Source: BBC News website

Date: 21/08/2008

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