Scotland's Species

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at 3:02 pm on 22nd March 2006.

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Photo of Ted Brocklebank Ted Brocklebank Conservative 3:02 pm, 22nd March 2006

On behalf of the Conservative group, I welcome the minister's statement. All who care for Scotland's wildlife accept SNH's view that intervention or direct management of species is sometimes appropriate. I note that SNH has listed situations in which such management is deemed appropriate.

As a lifelong ornithologist, I have two questions for the minister. First, under the sustainable use of species heading, does she foresee a time when certain species among Scotland's growing raptor populations may need to be controlled? I note that absence of predator control is among the reasons that SNH lists for the decline in the population of black grouse. Does she accept that the predators of the black grouse are largely avian? Secondly, does she believe that the growing number of pine martens in the Highlands plays a role in the diminishing number of capercaillies?