Chough

The Birder's Market | Resource | Bird news for Britain / Rest of the World | UK Bird News | Bird News for United Kingdom 2006  | Bird News for Scotland 2006 |  Chough

New site for chough on Islay

01/09/2006
Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) are about to begin a formal consultation process with local farmers and land managers on the Scottish Executive's proposals to designate The Oa as a Special Protection Area (SPA). This designation is one of Europe's top wildlife accolades which recognises the international importance of the chough population on The Oa and would protect the birds under European law.

Angus Laing, SNH Area Manager said: "Chough, with their distinctive red legs and red beaks are only found in a few areas of Scotland, with Islay as the stronghold. On the Oa they breed in caves along the cliffs and feed on the coastal and arable grasslands. Visitors to the area often see families of chough searching for insects found in the shallow soil and in cow dung. They favour these areas because the low intensity, traditional way of farming means that there is plenty of food for them."

In addition to recognising the international importance of The Oa, the site also qualifies as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) because of the nationally important numbers of chough present. At the same time as the consultation over the proposed SPA, SNH will also contact owners and occupiers about the notification of The Oa SSSI.

Chough are also found in important numbers in other parts of Islay and following a recent SNH consultation, the Deputy Minister for the Environment and Rural Affairs, Rhona Brankin, has approved the addition of chough to the list of species protected by the existing Gruinart Flats SPA.

Anyone interested in finding out more the consultation should contact Rae McKenzie, SNH Area Officer at Scottish Natural Heritage, Main Street, Bowmore, Isle of Islay or telephone 01496 810711.
Press relese by Scottish Natural Heritage

The Birder's Market | Resource | Bird news for Britain / Rest of the World | UK Bird News | Bird News for United Kingdom 2006  | Bird News for Scotland 2006 |  Chough

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