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We as practitioners are rather confused.com with species protection in modern Scotland and this presentation might illustrate why. Modern legal protection is highly complex in terms of strategy, laws and delivery – how on earth did we get ourselves into this pickle? The law is rather the child of the fluctuating fashion in conservation ecology. Current legal protection reflects ideological conservation thinking from the last 100 years. The first key ideology was to protect things from man. Jon Muir arguably led the charge on this. The irony is that research now shows that the pristine wilderness he strove to protect was a myth and had been manipulated by much larger populations of native American Indians long before the white man conquered the frontier. This thinking trickled down into more contemporary UK conservation through the period when many of our current laws were being framed. This book cover is interestingly illustrative of the thinking.
This change was reflected then in the way legislation viewed species and management. Very broadly, pre-79 the law tended to regulate management and ownership of species affected by game managers, rather than the species themselves. From 1979, we saw the start of the ecosystem approach now popularized in the current Scottish Land Use Strategy. This was based on FCS and permits management by exemption, leading to some curious anomalies in law that I will come back to.
The legislation that captures this approach were the 2 European Directives in 1979 and 1992 respectively. These were transposed into law, notably the 1981 Act which has subsequently been amended as far as a non-lawyer sees it at least 7 times. Delivering the law is almost as complex for practitioners to understand with many agencies and even Ministerial input interpreting the law.
Does this protection and prescription based approach work to achieve their goals – the maintenance and restoration of species and habitats? Buzzard population increase suggests it does; but buzzards probably actually increased because Dieldrin was banned, Larsen cages became more widely used, rabbit and pheasant numbers increased. In Scotland every bird of prey has a stable or increasing population at a national level except one, the kestrel.
Does this protection and prescription based approach work to achieve their goals – the maintenance and restoration of species and habitats? The Habitats Directive protection of Lepus timidus because of concerns over over-hunting of Alpine sub-species, Unfortunately this blanket approach does not recognise that management for sporting, rather peculiar to the UK and Scotland, has greatly increased and stabilised the mountain hare population of Scotland. We are now left with the difficulty of always maintaining the hare population at high levels, even when it conflicts with tree and tick management.
Does this protection and prescription based approach work to achieve their goals – the maintenance and restoration of species and habitats? The badger is the perfect example, I think, of over-protection. It has its own Acts of Parliament over and above the protection it gets from the Wildlife and Countryside Act. Indeed it enjoys protection equivalent to that of a golden eagle. There are around 250,000 breeding adult badgers in the Britain. They are more abundant than foxes. Yet famers and landowners can basically control fox numbers at any time if they have good reason to.
Badgers are a major issue now for managers It is only illegal to catch a badger if you set out to do so!
Whether or not legal protection has driven these changes, many predator species are now coming into conflict with other assets, both biodiversity and economic. In some cases the predator is still relatively uncommon at the UK level: Hen Harriers and Red Grouse Peregrines and Black Grouse Black Grouse 70 radio-tagged black grouse Of 26 corpses,10 (38%) were killed by raptors, probably Peregrines, and 8 (31%) by Stoats Sea Eagles and lambs
However in an increasing number of cases predators are in better conservation status than their prey: Ravens (numbers up by 150% in 10 years) and Lapwing now a red listed species Sparrowhawks and Grey Partridge Pine marten and capercaillie So how do land managers have to address this problem of 30 year old protection for species whose conservation status and impacts are rapidly changing?
Now: We must show that we are using all available options, but despite using cages to remove crows, this is not a satisfactory alternative to killing protected predators Managers must get better at collecting evidence of impacts that cannot be satisfactorily addressed If they can they can apply for a licence In the future: Licensing can be used more imaginatively and beneficially but it requires a shift in conservation mindset and political support Law reform may be the only way we ultimately resolve the quandry of the ‘protect everything but manage this bit’ approach ...
What are the satisfactory alternatives, the best practice that should be used? But we as practitioners don’t often have the satisfaction of knowing if the ‘law’ agrees as guidance is patchy and inconsistent Lambs can rather easily be protected from Raven damage with very limited evidence of impact and no evidence of raven status triggering a licence But protecting pheasants in pens from buzzards is complex and apparently contentious, so much so the guidance has not yet been adopted. And novel approaches, such as adaptive management, or conservation research are too often used to delay management, not progress and inform it.
The problem we face with guidance and best practice is illustrated by the requirement of SNH that not shooting grouse is essential to red grouse This is clearly bonkers, given that numbers of GWCT projects (Royston, Loddington, Salisbury Plain, Otterburn, Langholm DMP...) show it is the game shooting incentive that drives conservation of key species.
Licensing is the pressure relief valve for conservation and economic land use when best practice fails.
We have to establish that the predator and prey are present and that the predator is in sufficiently good status to allow management while the prey is not in good status (the damage has already been done)...
Secondly we have to show serious damage, but the level of evidence required for this is highly variable
A major stumbling block for SNH and Ministers; they seem to want to be certain that the remedy sought will result in the outcome desired but there are often too few data. The answer has been to aks questions (below) and not licence instead of licensing. Which predator? What are the prey? How many prey are being taken? When are the prey being taken? Where are the prey being taken? What behaviour is being exhibited by predators
How do we collect these 3 pieces of evidence? With a great deal of time and effort – is this satisfactory or economic?
One of the few areas where the situation has improved – at least SNH is now the one stop shop. But they have to address the previous issue and must be given sufficient resources to allow good decisions.
It can work, though maybe not enough (new research being commissioned by Moray first Sea Trout Group).
Consolidate existing wildlife law. New legislation should be ‘enabling’ and encourage wildlife management. The Animal Welfare Act (2006) may be a good model here. It sets out the broad principles and leaves the detail to secondary codes which may or may not be statutory. Better, not weaker, wildlife protection, conforming to EU Directives and Regulations.
Licences should be timely, not just administratively but in conservation and management terms
Finally, in order to steer this exciting new act and way of thinking we need agencies and central government to balance land-use and conservation
A risk based approach Monitoring of licence outcomes should be the norm, but it should not expect research quality data immediately Data can accrue from many sites in a short time frame or few sites in a longer time frame SNH should take a decision to licence and then consult selected expert opinion for the minimum monitoring requirement.
Finally, remember the good bits of the Birds Directive which actually call for the kind of approach I think we should take. Read this. This is Article 2 of the Directive. It is precisely what I think we would like to achieve. At the moment I don’t think this aspiration is very well reflected in our laws.
Living with licensing
Living with Lice ns ing –Th e P ractitione rs ’ Vie wMrOdy A a S it a k d & dm mhJ iclt ie C m it e e inru iaS d s o mt Sm a d u e2 J e 025u 21 n
P rote cting S p e cie s• Pre 1979 – Seie mngmn adea pc s aae etn l l g o nr ip we h s• 1979 onwards: – S ro t ‘Eoy e apoc’ t t fh cs t prah a e sm – FvualC ne a n tu aor e osr t S t b v io a s • P plio sedt u nt n, o u tn iz, isibt , r d a r io e f udy e nit c – Mngmn b ee p ned go aae et y xmt l in t io a ao a s L p st id s nml ... e u im u ie
C ap tu re d in Law• Enshrined in law – B d ad ait D ete irs n H ba ir ivs t c – W d e C ut s e c18 ilif& on y A t 91 l r id – A a edd ( ) s mne... 7• D elivery – Ml lin rr a n uip t pe t s t e e tio – S H P l , FclSe f N , o e is s hrs ic a, if – P l ainu o icl pt it ...• H ow did we get here...
S o d oe s p rote ction work? Bu zzard s 1988 2002 ( oin 20) H l g 03 lA des rp e nr Tet a k
Th e M ou ntain H are anom aly? Scottish population often 10x higher than anywhere else on globe because of management not in spite of... Alpine Mountain Hare Global range of the Mountain Hare: IUCN data
M am m alsBre e d ing p op u lation e s tim ate s(U K)Badger 250,000Fox 240,000
Bad ge rs at Langh olm • L aw: • Msnte sa s hr ‘l l t ut o stnr we ik y o e e e’ ct bde a h agr c s • G uidance: • Awy l ko sn o bde atit las o f igs fagrc y o r iv , sc a wl on a s agrr k uh s e wr pt , bde t cs l h a ad or g y as it b c ts n ca e r hirwh lkip. s e a D nte sa s t viny f o o stnr in h ic ito e e bde st o nat ir ug it in agre s r erh “dn ps t e ”, hl t og o udrecle, o sh uh r ne f e s e r n in gt as r egs l r ue b a wy o hde c ay sd y e el bdes agr . • Bt c o l acry n oe u lk f gllitad vr a e a poetned goa rt io l in t no-risk c a apoc prah
Ad d re s s ing th e P rob le m• N ow: W ork with an outdated System – U e eabspate s Lglet r ic c • ( k Stf trAt nte) aa a a oy lra s isc e iv – G t r ro a e Po f h • Bspate n ur o e po l s et r ic ad ne l d rb m c sv e – G t L es e a icne• Future: – ‘S a ’ ue fy e mr s o s t t sm – Lw e r a Rf mo
S atis factory Alte rnative s• The Basics – H ba D es, Pea n ait, isa r t t e d io – Scn o in n ave eod p io - dic• G uidance is patchy RP Iae SBmgs – OpnLms e: a b – D t e: Pes t e il ha n ad as• N ovel approaches used to delay
N ot s h ooting: a s atis factory alte rnative ?N o!• C ne a n cl y osr t Eo g v io o – C r spoto mr s oe up rf a inr g – W d ir cn e nacd y ilbd a b ehne b l po utn f so t lsrl rdc o a hoa e up s io b u• Lgl ea ly – Atl2 f irs ir te oe r e o B d D e iv m r ic c imot tht r l9 p r n t At e a a ic – W A18 d e nt r ethoin C 91 os o pe n so tg v ad osr tnrm vrpin n cne a f oeap g v io o l
Lice ns ing wh e n b e s t p ractice fails• W d e N t aEvomn A tSol d 21 ilif& a r nirn et c( ctn) 01 l ul a• Soth a r H rae o woyep nib ct N t a eit nw hl rsos l is ul g l e• W hu ae fr e my e o mt : it t riec s a b cm it d o l im e5.W pb a cne n ilifCim e ul l odm W d e r e icl y l6.W se t udrad h c e a cm it d e eko ne t wy r s r o mt sn im e e7.W h ne t d g o e eete eo tn it udra in cms fc r lio sn f iv s u• L esg a poid udrad g n r o tn icnin cn rv e nes nin ad e lio t su• T e msb aesnb epc tn hth drgtnrm h l hr ut e r oal xetio t t eoa f t a e a e a a e io o e w wlrv e h r eyht bin suh il oid t e d t is e g ogt p e m a .• S... eidne fed o v ec o ne
E vid e nce 1 : C ons e rvation S tatu s• A licence when: – Pea r go s t , pe lso r t in o d tu r e s... do as y s – Ma r a S t , t n, p plio es e r tu r d o u tn u s e as e a se iz – Lgl antnl vlbt N wn ea t a al e u S H at ly io e s l al e o l vl c e s – Ioa N t aH rae oe a is f cl a r e g Z n dt l u l it a ntvil l o aa b ? ae – Pat nrmc clcithme e r it e uh oet t sl s c io s l e v
E vid e nce 2: S e riou s d am age• L etc ( etn 6 W d e n C ut se c18) ivs kSc 1k ilifad onr id A t 91 o io l y – Lms ab A y of e aak rtcs n cn md tc o aak ir t t – Fh is Po ail o aak rbbit ftc y t• W d n a ( etn 6cW d e n C ut se c18) ilA iml Sc 1( ) ilifad onr id A t 91 s io l y – Slo: D pns n tu wh a etlwd a n eed o s t it hr sa e m as v l o – W dgm) irs eed o s t , bt a et o a wd il a e d: D pns n tu u hr sntl e! ( b as v l o
E vid nce 3:W ill removing the predator solve the problem? Pine Marten or Fox Cat or Wildcat Shoot or not shoot?
E vid e nce gath e ring• P plio Sr y o u tn uv s a e – P ne l nd a – Opot is -C b a s p r nt a cr u ic d• Ipc mat s – Poo hts – Cr s s a ae cs• R crs eod – Ete fe s t Of a ic
Le gal 4: Ap p lication The most likely spp to see• Scottish N atural H eritage licensed control: – Lms ol, Sloid a b, P us a n s t m Ravens – M ut H r on in a s a e Buzzards Sawbills – W dr G e PrideG os ae , ry a rg, rue s t Sparrowhaw• C nis n ad imlr p ne ost tn T e e oss e y s ks Pine – L ecsa b is e f 2 Martens icne cn e s do u r ya er s
C an it work?• Spey, C onon, N ess, Beauly – T oog M noin Ss m hruh oitrg y e t • Swilad a o a bl n Sl n s m – Pio R sa h hw t e y a bl r r eer so sa b Swil c k s
S u m m ary• F sa d r t nrf in cag g r a rn r t t pa it e a g hnin pe t ad u re c io s c do pe p plios r o u tn y a• P plios rt t b 3 yao l s o u tn poe e y 0 er l a a cd dw• As woey o icl esg rcs l , vr p l al nin poes o l it ic• T o fn l akin r us o o e ilglil ge l t e l st• W anw ht o
Im p roving b iod ive rs ity: Simplify the law• C no a eis g ilifl . osl t xt wd ea id e in l w• N weistn hu b ‘ealgad e l lio sol e nb ’ n ga d inecuae ilifmngmn T e nor wd e aae et h g l .A iml ea A t20)m dl n aW lr c( 06 o e fe .• Bt r ilifpoetncn r in t e e wd e rt io, of m go t l c oE D ete ad eu tn. U ir ivs n R glios c a A des rp e nr Tet a k “H w ay e hr ra eog? o mn hn a ie r nuh rse ” M e uslSoth int f Evomn 20- 9 ik R s l ct M is ro nirn et 060 e, is e r
Th e P re ve nting D e cline Is s u e• C onservation should be about preventing species from reaching perilous situations ( decline or extinction) as well as rescuing them – H ba D c : ‘min in retr aits r v a t o r oe t t a s ’ – G idne o d pinip bt ht u ac go in rc l u wa e dfe: e s in • Eg o r g de fa en • C r p plio oe o u tn a – W e wu ave n h hr ol dic o t e d is cm f m o er ? o • 18 bsleo seie? 91 a in f pc s e r
C larify role sS tatu tory Age ncie s & C e ntral G ove rnm e nt• W hy separate production and conservation? – N t e osr ny n M isy f g uue a r C ne ac ad int o A r lr u v r ic t – ISol d n ctn: a • Rvnicnin t poet etc: ae l sgo rt l s k e c iv o S ahowr t igt ra r f d • Rvnicnin t poetbd: ae l sgo rt e c irs H !! a• Better linkage – Seie sr ae bde whad aae et pc suv lmedd it l mngmn iv n – G m cne a n nt e osr tn a e osr t is a r cne a v io u v io
U s e lice nce s b old ly• A void making adaptive management licences as complex as PhD s : – H h tu o seie t b mngd ig s t fpc so e aae + as – A ed t eidne fee o mngmn + ncoa v ec o bnf f aae et l it – Lw is t s t b l it mngmn = o rko tu yime aae et as d – L ec, r u tg clo mngmn ad icne e lin s e f aae etn ga a m noin r ue oitrge ir q d
COUNCIL DIRECTIVE (1979) on the conservation of wild birds.Article 2Member states shall take the requisite measures to maintain thepopulations of species referred to in Article 1[all birds] at a level whichcorresponds in particular to ecological, scientific and culturalrequirements, while taking account of economic and recreationalrequirements, or to adapt the population of these species to that level.