Ben Ross – SNH Background As Scottish Natural Heritage’s Licensing Manager I oversee the delivery of over 2000 licences each year to allow people to undertake activities affecting protected species that would otherwise be an offence. This includes control of geese to protect agricultural interests, deer authorisations, survey and monitoring licences and many other […]
In this context, I was particularly interested during my recent visit to Hogskolen I Hedmark, Norway and the associated structured course, to explore how hunting systems and natural wildlife resources were administrated in that country to inform my understanding as to how systems might be improved in the future in Scotland.
While the vast majority of the land is under some form of management and is modified nature conservation and natural heritage interests appeared to be in a relatively healthy state. During the visit we were largely engaged with consideration of wildlife management for economic purposes (even in relation to protected species including large carnivores), we were able to consider wider ecosystem health and the role that played in maintaining healthy populations of different wildlife species
In Norway, there is an annual monitoring programme of all grouse species that covers much of the country. Started in 2013, the Hønsefugl Portalen is a largescale partnership between NINA (Norwegian Institute for Nature Research), FeFo (a landowner enterprise in Finnmark, Northern Norway), Statskog (State landowner), Miljødirektoratet (Norwegian Environement Agency), HINT (Nordtrondelag University), Norges Fjellstyresamband (Norwegian Mountain Board who administer hunting rights on crown land) and Hedmark University. The initial project began in the 1950’s, walking transects and counting flushed birds, using the distance counting statistical method. It is now a web-based portal for monitoring both public and private land.
I work for Scottish Natural Heritage and prior to this worked for the Deer Commission for Scotland. Wildlife management in Scotland is an important issue; culturally, economically, socially and increasingly politically. Learning about and seeing first-hand how Norway manages wildlife; the challenges, opportunities and some of the solutions they have found was a valuable experience for me that will influence both my professional and personal life.
Visitors and the countryside in Norway Robert Coleman – RSPB First impressions count when it comes to visitor experiences and from the flight out to the flight home Norway made a lasting impression. Friendly people, fantastic landscapes and iconic wildlife…so where did we start… INDOORS! Our first visitor experience in Norway was […]
Over the past few years and after the successful reintroduction of beavers in Scotland, there have been talks and interest about the possibility of lynx reintroduction in Scotland. Therefore we were all keen to know more about the lynx ecology, management and conflict mitigations Norway. Norway has four main carnivores with some habitat where all of them co-exist.
The arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) is categorised by the IUCN as Least Concern due to its circumpolar distribution in tundra and alpine habitats and a global population of several hundred thousand (IUCN, 2017). However, within Fennoscandia the situation is very different: populations have been at an unsustainable low since the late 1920s.
I personally found visiting the breeding centre and learning about the programme very interesting as I was able to draw parallels with my own work, which is to reintroduce red squirrels to the Northwest Scottish Highlands.