SRUC has pledged to help deliver effective wildlife management across Scotland. It is among 15 organisations which have signed a concordant on a Shared Approach to Wildlife Management which has been launched.
Wildlife management is integral to conservation management, farming, forestry and tourism in Scotland.
“The shared approach is highly relevant to SRUC as many of our colleagues will become involved in wildlife management discussions at some point.
“We have consultants who are in regular contact with land managers, lecturers delivering a wide range of land management courses and researchers like myself who help to advise on policy developments.
“We have signed up to the Shared Approach to Wildlife Management because it will help us explain to our clients and students why some elements of wildlife management may need to change in the future and what that may mean for them.”
Professor Davy McCracken, Head of Integrated Land Management Department at SRUC
Wildlife management is defined as ‘the deliberate and targeted intervention by people to change the population, structure or distribution of wild species, particularly terrestrial mammals and birds’.
However, people don’t always understand the reasons for wildlife management and can be opposed to some aspects of it - such as lethal control - which can have a detrimental impact on good decision making.
Over the past 18 months, SRUC has been working with NatureScot, National Trust for Scotland, Royal Society for the Protection for Birds and other partners to develop the concordat.
This sets out an agreed set of principles to follow when engaging in discussions on contentious wildlife management issues such as sea eagle impacts on livestock.
The shared approach recognises the need to work in partnership and that everyone has responsibility - legal, social and moral - to manage wildlife as a shared resource.
The following organisations have signed up to the Shared Approach to Wildlife Management: Association of Deer Management Groups; British Association for Shooting and Conservation; British Deer Society; Cairngorms National Park Authority; Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust; National Farmers Union Scotland; National Trust for Scotland; NatureScot; Royal Society for the Protection for Birds; Scottish Association for Country Sports; Scottish Countryside Alliance; Scottish Gamekeepers Association; Scottish Land and Estates; Scotland’s Rural College and The Woodland Trust.