The scheme co-ordinates the annual survey of Black Grouse, which involves visiting their traditional spring mating or lek sites each morning at dawn to count the number of males present. The results indicate an 18 per cent increase in the number of males attending these leks since last year, when the population was 1,029 males.
The Game Conservancy Trust and the RSPB, as lead partners responsible for Black Grouse recovery as a priority species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan, are jubilant about these new figures, which exceeds the Government's Biodiversity Action Plan target of 1,000 males by 2010.
The largest population increase of the species in
However, despite these increases in the
Phil Warren from the Black Grouse Recovery Project commented: “Black Grouse are responding extremely well in areas where habitat improvements in combination with predator control are being undertaken by moorland gamekeepers. However, to prevent further declines and range contraction in north Northumberland it is vitally important to secure increased funding for further work, including support and advice for landowners. These stunning birds are an amazing spectacle and it's a rare treat to see one. With the continued success of the project the future for the species in
Image: Laurie Campbell (courtesy of Game Conservancy Trust)