Scientific advice and technical expertise are provided to Scottish Government (Agriculture, Food and Rural Communities Directorate; and Environment and Forestry Directorate) where conflict arises between mammalian and avian wildlife, agriculture and the environment. Advice relates to policy matters, changes in UK or EC legislation, licensing to kill or take protected species and general advice regarding any aspect of vertebrate management procedures.
Wildlife Management staff support Scottish Government Animal Health and Welfare Division with regard to the control of wildlife in the event of a rabies outbreak (under the 1974 Rabies (Control) Order). Staff contributed to the recent revisions of the Scottish Government Rabies Contingency Plan and Rabies Wildlife Control Plan.
Current research and development work includes annual pest surveys, and work in support of current policy such as trialling bird scaring devices to prevent damage to fish stocks, survey to identify locations of feral pigs and boar (view the SASA poster Wild Boar distribution in Scotland), and a survey of UK molecatchers.
Wildlife Management staff were involved in the project management of the trial Use of Falcons to Displace Nesting Gulls from an Urban Area, which took place in Dumfries - view the Final Report.
The Branch is involved in the provision and development of advice and small-scale projects across a wide range of subject areas. A few examples include:-
- the development of guidelines to aid farmers with prevention of damage to livestock by ravens - view guidance and corvid identification leaflet;
- identifying the location and the capture of escaped beaver in Eastern Scotland;
- assessment of damage to livestock by golden eagles in support of licence applications - view report;
- assessment of damage to livestock by badgers in support of a licence application;
- a National rabbit survey;
- the quantification of damage in support of licensed shooting of geese;
- trial of fencing methods to prevent grazing damage by geese to agricultural crops grown on machair;
- organising and coordinating rodent control on Infected and Dangerous Contact premises in Scotland during the 2001 foot and mouth outbreak.
Representational duties of Wildlife Management staff include:-
PAW Scotland plenary group
Goose Science Advisory Group (GSAG)
Invasive Non-Native Species working group (INNS)
Gull Task Force (Chair)
Moray Firth Catchment Sawbill Duck Management Group