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 Rhona Brankin Rhona Brankin Labour 3:02 pm, 22nd March 2006

Clearly, we need to ensure that we strike the right balance, but I am conscious of the raptors issue, which is one reason why the hen harrier has been identified as a species requiring conflict management. SNH and the people who manage moorlands are engaged in valuable work that seeks to get that balance right by ensuring that we obtain the most up-to-date information on the potential effects of raptors while working constructively with the various people involved. On moorland and game birds, we need to strike the right balance, as I said, between the various different interests. Work on those issues is going on in Langholm.

The hen harrier has shown some signs of recovery, but the species still suffers from a degree of persecution in Scotland, which is home to most of its population. We need to be able to work closely with people and we are doing just that, as SNH is working with Scotland's moorland forum. Of course, we need to ensure that we have the most up-to-date scientific advice.

SNH keeps species such as pine martens under review. I am conscious that the Scottish Gamekeepers Association has expressed concerns about pine martens, but SNH will continue to keep the species under review.