As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday, 31 May 2013

Scottish Bean goose population given helping hand by Forestry Commission Scotland

Landscape partners work together in conservation effort
May 2013. Scotland's only population of a rare arctic goose will be better protected in future thanks to the purchase of a site in North Lanarkshire by Forestry Commission Scotland.

The Commission has bought a 90ha area of land that lies between its 176ha site at Fannyside Muir, near Cumbernauld, and the nearby Fannyside Loch.

The newly acquired site - which includes a substantial area of deep peat bog - forms part of a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Protection Area designated by Scottish Ministers under the EU Birds Directive. The site is the regular over-wintering ground of Scotland's only flock of taiga bean geese which numbers over 200 birds and represents more than half of the UK wintering population.

Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for the Environment & Climate Change said: "Deep peat bogs are vitally important habitats and also play an important role as carbon sinks, locking up large quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2) that would, if released, contribute to climate change.

200 Bean geese
"The wider area is also very important for over 200 Bean Geese that fly here every autumn to escape the worst of the Scandinavian winter. Forestry Commission Scotland can now incorporate this important site and the deep peat bog it contains into their management plan and can also work with the other landscape partners in the area - SNH, SWT and RSPB Scotland - to make sure that the mosaic of habitats is protected and improved for these birds and for other animal, plant and insect species in the area."

Maintain as peat bog
There are no plans to plant trees on the site - or to extract peat - which means that approximately 25,000t carbon (equivalent to >90,000tCo2) will remain locked up in the deep peat soils present on the site.

Bean geese in UK
Bean Geese are a species of European Conservation Concern. They breed in north Scandinavia, north Russia and north Asia but overwinter at this north Lanarkshire site and one other site in Britain. Bean Geese are an RSPB Amber conservation priority.

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