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Black Grouse benefit from new Ochils woodland

Black Grouse lek

Black Grouse lek

A new black grouse lek has been discovered inside the boundary of young woodland at the Woodland Trust Scotland's Glen Devon sites in the Ochil Hills. There are now two active leks within Glen Devon, the first of which was found to be active in 2012.

Site manager Gary Bolton said: “By restricting grazing and establishing large areas of new native woodland alongside open ground we have created good conditions for black grouse and many other birds, such as short eared owls, goldfinches and common whitethroats.

“Black grouse numbers are increasing but still relatively small at the moment, hopefully their numbers will continue to rise as the habitat improves.”

Male black grouse gather at leks during spring, squaring off in an incredible display using their lyre shaped tails to compete for the best spots to attract females. In recent years habitat loss and overgrazing have resulted in a severe population decline, making black grouse a species of high conservation concern.

Woodland creation in Glen Devon has been supported through the Scottish Forest Alliance. The new native woodland at Glen Sherup, Glen Quey and Geordie’s Wood covers an area of 1,233ha, of which 30 per cent is open ground habitat.

The Woodland Trust Scotland is working with and seeking best management practice guidance in relation to enhancing black grouse habitat in the area from organisations including Scottish Natural Heritage, RSPB Scotland, and Black Grouse UK .

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