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Forest butterfly survey provides hidden surprise - Forestry Commission Scotland

Proposals to reintroduce a population of rare and endangered butterflies to the Trossachs have been shelved - after preparatory survey work this year found a ‘secret’ population!

(image: Forestry Commission Scotland)(image: Forestry Commission Scotland)

The Pearl-bordered Fritillary butterfly, which is now very rare in England and Wales, but more widely found in the north of Scotland, was thought to be locally extinct in the Trossachs. With only one butterfly having been seen in the area over ten years ago, Forest Enterprise Scotland (FES) was working with Butterfly Conservation Scotland, RSPB, Woodland Trust Scotland & CLEAR Services to explore the possibility of a reintroduction programme.

Paul Maplebeck of Butterfly Conservation Scotland said; “As part of the preparation for a possible Pearl-bordered Fritillary reintroduction, a team of volunteers was recruited to carry out a large-scale survey to visit the sites that were most suitable for the butterflies. Ideal habitat consists of sunny, south facing slopes with well drained soils and light woodland cover. Cutting edge scientific modelling was used to predict where these might be found - and it worked! You can imagine our surprise and delight when the surveys revealed that FES sites within the Great Trossachs Forest NNR housed a secret population.  At least 45 butterflies were recorded at ten different locations in May this year.”

 

No time to lose: forestry sector launches plan to work together to adapt to climate change - Royal Forestry Society

Actions to address significant gaps in forestry policy, research and practice are necessary to deal with the unprecedented pace and scale of environmental change, say forestry organisations launching a new action plan  today at APF, the UK's largest forestry show.

Climate change is threatening the health of trees and woods and requires a co-ordinated response to help them adapt and become resilient to its current and projected impacts. The Forestry Climate Change Working Group (FCCWG) – public and private organisations representing the 35 signatories to the 2015 Forestry Climate Change Accord - have identified 13 priority actions and pledged to work together on them over the next five years. 

The Action plan for climate change adaptation of forests, woods and trees in England address major gaps in current forestry policy, research and practice. The 13 priority actions are the result of a rigorous process of consultation carried out over the last three years, and are consistent with Defra’s Tree Health Resilience Strategy published earlier this year.

The plan also recognises that, in the face of climate change, many traditional forest and woodland management practices need to be revised. Some of the gaps identified include: lack of woodland management by owners; insufficient diversity of planting stock from nurseries; limited uptake of silvicultural practices which limit risk; and, the need for better education and information.

 

Scientific publication

Baker, R., Scott, D.M., Keeling, C. et al. Overwinter survival and post-release movements of translocated water voles: implications for current mitigation guidance Eur J Wildl Res (2018) 64: 56. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10344-018-1216-8

 

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