49 The NFE covers 32% of Scotland’s woodland area (Forest Research, Provisional Woodland Statistics: 2019 Edition). BDS Journal ‘Deer’, Spring 2016. Wherever possible, ADMG has read the Deer Working Group report with considerable interest and I am taking the opportunity to submit our detailed comments (attached) on each of the 99 Report recommendations. 46 The fact that the ‘national cull statistics’ published by SNH do not represent the actual total cull of each species in Scotland each year, is a significant distinction that appears often not to be recognised. By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. The Management of Wild Deer in Scotland – Report of the Deer Working Group. upland deer managers The Deer Code covers all of Scotland’s species of wild deer and habitats on which deer are found. Mammal Review, 35 (2), 165-173. On the annual cull return forms used by SNH, it asks the respondents to record the numbers of deer they cull under one of three dominant land use types: agriculture, woodland or open range. [2] That century is considered the low point for the numbers of both species in Scotland, with the main concentrations of red deer surviving in parts of the Central Highlands around Atholl, Black Mount, Glenartney, Glen Fiddich, Invercauld and Mar.[3]. [16] Similarly, fallow deer have also expanded over that period with a number of previously localised populations coalescing over wider areas. out more about cookies, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform. Wild Deer Resource Scotland. See a quick key to these guides for symbols used in these guides. 39 In the Deer (Scotland) Act 1959, s.5 empowered the RDC to serve notice on an owner requiring them to submit a ‘return’ recording the species, numbers and sexes of the deer that had been killed or taken on their land during a specified period not exceeding five years. 18 At a rate rising to 15,000 ha per year from 2024/25 (Scotland’s Forestry Strategy, 2019-2029). Despite the number of assumptions, this probably provides the most realistic population estimation for Scotland”.[37]. Read the Code of Practice on Deer Management. Pre- and post-1972 distributions are also shown in maps in the JNCC/Tracking Mammals Partnership report (2005): UK Mammals: Species Status and Population Trends. 21 Callander and MacKenzie (1991) Op cit. Yet this public resource has traditionally been managed exclusively by the owners of land. The Deer Commission for Scotland was an executive non-departmental body of the Scottish Government. 9 Ratcliffe, P. (1987). Maps at that scale showing the distribution of all four species in Britain in 1972 have been compared to show the expansions in their respective ranges by 2002. A deer manager will get more value from a deer census if the data is used together with information such as the condition of the habitats. JNCC/Mammal Tracking Partnership. While it has been roe deer that have moved into those latter areas so far, current expansion patterns and experience in England suggest that fallow and red deer will follow them in places. It also stresses the importance of managing deer collaboratively, of talking to neighbours and of planning together. Steering Group. Principles of Scotland’s Wild Deer: A National Approach Provide a Scottish framework to guide local decision-making and improve delivery of deer management. The guides are dynamic and practitioners are encouraged to debate and share ideas to help develop future editions. The species totals and overall cull totals are shown in Figure 8. Red deer management : a practical book for the management of wild red deer in Scotland.. [Great Britain. The Deer Working Group was established by the Scottish Government in 2017, as a result of the Government’s concern at the continuing issues over the standards of deer management in Scotland and the levels of damage to public interests caused by wild deer. The need for deer management For many people deer stalking is a recreational activity, but it is also necessary to protect agricultural crops, forestry, native flora and indeed, deer, since they are prolific breeders and, if numbers are allowed to increase unchecked, may become prone to starvation and disease. However, in contrast to the sources quoted in the sub-section above for this estimate, SNH describe the figure in its 2016 report as based on an estimate by Clutton-Brock et al of the red deer on open hill range in 2004.[32]. View a map of Post-2000 deer densities from Deer Commission Scotland data. Welcome Welcome to Best Practice Guidance on the Management of Wild Deer in Scotland. 44 It did publish annual tables for the number of sika culled from 1991, with the tables going back to 1986/87. 52 Scottish Parliament, Written Answer Report, S5W-00703 and S5W-00705, 29 June 2016. SNH is, for example, responsible for implementing a longstanding public policy of limiting or slowing the expansion of Scotland’s non-native deer species, and it might have been considered that distribution maps at a more detailed scale would be helpful as part of that. assess STEC prevalence in wild deer faeces in Scotland; review cross-contamination risks in the slaughter and processing stages of wild deer from the field to larder ; Although the prevalence of STEC O157 in wild deer is low, the report found that when discovered, it is the strain associated with the most severe forms of human disease. However, the percentages in Figure 13 illustrate a range of points about the national cull. 14 The 2016 distribution maps show that red deer have continued to expand their range into the north-east of Scotland and south into the Central Belt, with the population in Southern Scotland also spreading further. That Act originally only dealt with red deer and was designed to protect agricultural and forestry interests from damage by marauding open hill red deer in the Highlands. Sika Deer (Cervus nippon) Sika deer are native to much of East Asia, with the name “sika” coming from the Japanese word for deer “shika“. Including 2015-2020 Priorities. Red Deer Commission … 23 The 1980 estimate was 150,000-175,000, cited in: Harris, S., Morris, P., Wray, S. and Yalden, D. (1995), A review of British mammals: population estimates and conservation status of British mammals other than cetaceans, JNCC report. 15 The Group is very grateful to the British Deer Society for all its help in producing these maps. This stems from the agreement by Scottish Ministers and the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee that a review of deer management in Scotland be undertaken in 2016. Deer are dependent on the habitat as well as impacting on it. 22 Shortly before the RDC had become responsible for all species of wild deer in 1982, it commissioned an estimate of Scotland’s roe population. John Donald, Edinburgh. Forest Industry Safety Accord - Member. (2005). [12] The total number of squares occupied by each species in Britain in 1972, 2002 and 2007 have also been compared to show the on-going expansion in the distribution of each species. [41] The Group’s view is that the statement should also have included sika and fallow deer. The influence of man on animal life in Scotland. The guides within this folder have been developed by Scotland's deer sector to provide you with the best information available on wild deer management in a format that is easy to access. 6 The … 25 The estimates given by SNH to the Committee have been widely quoted elsewhere, where they are also usually described as the “most recent population counts”. (2019), The role of selection and evolution in changing parturition date in a red deer population, draft paper shared with DWG. Its head office was at … Representation at EU, UK Government, Scottish Parliament, and Local Authority levels on all matters relating to the management of wild deer in Scotland. It is supplemented by the Code of Practice on Deer Management, which came into place in 2012. … This is an approach used occasionally, for example by Harris et al (1995) Op cit, p.100. ;] 12 Since the 1970s, distribution maps for deer species have tended to be based on the presence or absence of deer in 10 kilometre squares. The majority of deer are shot in woodland environments (and the proportion would be significantly higher if the table was analysing the actual total cull, rather than just the numbers recorded in cull returns). Public confidence in these three issues is essential if wild deer management in Scotland is to maintain the understanding and respect of a wider audience at home and abroad. [8], 7 Sika deer from Asia were, in comparison, only introduced into Britain in the second half of the 19th century. 33 Albon, S.D., McLeod, J., Potts, J., Brewer, M., Irvine, J., Towers, M., Elston, D., Fraser, D. and Irvine, J. Wild deer, particularly red deer on the open hill, range freely over wide areas. The rising population has sparked significant debate surrounding management, with proponents of culls citing the damage caused to forests and rare plants. Habitat Impact Assessment: Best Practice Guidance on the Management of Wild Deer in Scotland. 29 The commentary above reflects, firstly, that the national populations estimates given by SNH in 2013 and since, are not based on “population counts” beyond incorporating the open hill red deer counts in the estimates for that species. 2 Wild red and roe deer are naturally woodland species and they have been in Scotland for around 10,000 years since the land was colonised by forests following the last glaciation. 23 In a wider review published in 1995 shortly before the 1959 Act was replaced by the 1996 Act, Harris et al gave a higher estimate of 347,000 for the number of red deer in Scotland. In the speculative example using SNH’s estimates as described above, SNH’s national cull statistics may only be recording around 60% of Scotland’s national cull each year. The Group considers that these relatively high cull rates based only on the records obtained from cull returns, indicate that the national populations are larger than suggested in SNH’s estimates of 25,000 and 8,000 respectively. 20 Swanson, G., Campbell, D. and Armstrong, H. (2008). There are also maps of red deer distribution from around that time in Callander and Mackenzie (1991) Op cit and SNH (1994), Red Deer and the Natural Heritage. The Group asked SNH for their estimate of the percentage of the actual total annual cull that might not be recorded each year by cull returns, recognising fully that SNH’s answers would be speculative figures. The report estimates that up to 1 million wild deer … Like a farmer knowing about his soils, the deer manager should know … Government Statistical Service, Edinburgh. 18 In considering the current distribution of each wild deer species in Scotland, the Group was surprised that SNH does not produce its own distribution maps. The Commission consisted of 10 members, appointed by the Scottish Ministers. [28] The national totals were the same except that the fallow population was estimated at 2,000 compared to 8,000. 15 The distribution maps reflect the major change in context since the 1959 Act was introduced 60 years ago. [20], 21 When the Red Deer Commission (RDC) was established by the Deer (Scotland) Act 1959, Scotland’s population of red deer was estimated to be around 155,000. In the next sentence in the 2016 report, SNH stated without further comment that “Previous estimates have included one from Shedden who reported a population of 305,000-400,000 in 1993”. 48 On top of the overall total in Figure 10, there will be several thousand deer killed in deer vehicle collisions each year and a further several thousand deer that die due to ‘winter mortality’ each year. By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Red deer are the largest, and if you visit in late September and October you can watch the rut, one of the animal kingdom's greatest spectacles. Despite the importance of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes for immune response, assessment of diversity on these genes is still rare for European deer populations. Hunting and Hunting Reserves in Medieval Scotland. 57 This Section has reviewed the information available at a national level on the distributions, population sizes and annual culls of Scotland’s four species of wild deer, to provide an overview as part of the context for the more detailed considerations later in this Report. Fit and Competent (Scottish Natural Heritage) DSC 1 & 2. The Code of Practice for Deer Management supports the voluntary approach to the management of Scotland’s wild deer. However, the Group had anticipated that SNH might have considered those maps too coarse grained at 10 kilometre squares for its purposes. However, this changed in 2000, when the DCS included totals for all four species for that year, as well as previous annual totals back to 1996/97 as the first year of the 1996 Act. The isolated population in Dumfries and Galloway had also expanded its range as it increased from Fraser Darling’s estimate of around 415 animals in 1954 to approximately 10 times that number by 1990.[11]. Leachkin Road . Gov.scot uses cookies which are essential for the site to work. 61 There is also the implication from the information on distributions and population sizes that, overall, the current levels of the annual culls of each species nationally are less than population growth. While public awareness of wild deer in Wales is still fairly low, they are a valued part of our natural heritage. The Deer Code sets out how land managers can deliver sustainable deer management. 39 Recent research on Rum shows how red deer are responding to the changing climate: Bonnet, T., Morrissey, M.B., Clutton-Brock, T.H., Pemberton, J. and Kruuk, L.E.B. ATV Qualification Units 208/209 (City & Guilds) EFAW + F. DMQ AW's. 51 The largest single contributor to the annual cull totals is Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS), which manages Scotland’s National Forest Estate (NFE) on behalf of Scottish Ministers. How many deer are there in Britain and are numbers really increasing? 31 A review commissioned by SNH for its 2016 report of the count data available on the open hill red deer population did not provide an overall estimate for the population. Google Scholar. 17.3 Muntjac Deer. Colleges Best Practice Day That information was in a written answer to questions in the Scottish Parliament in 2016 and appears to be the only other time national cull statistics have been published at a Local Authority scale.[52]. 2. [4] The population of roe deer also grew significantly as its range expanded fairly rapidly on lower ground due to increased tree planting during the 19th century. It also acted as the Government's advisor on deer-related matters. Get this from a library! Last updated: 18/12/2019. The Strategy will be reviewed by SNH in 2014. Wild deer in Scotland belong to no-one – in legal terms they are res nullius. aim is to maintain healthy wild deer populations and manage deer impacts across the NFE consistent with the carrying capacity of the land and the successful delivery of our management objectives. Framework for deer management NatureScot has a statutory responsibility to further the conservation, control and sustainable management of all wild deer species in Scotland. This Report considers whether that regulatory framework and associated non-statutory arrangements are delivering the public policy aim of effective deer management that safeguards public interests and promotes sustainable deer management. assess STEC prevalence in wild deer faeces in Scotland review cross-contamination risks in the slaughter and processing stages of wild deer from the field to larder Although the prevalence of STEC O157 in wild deer is low, the report found that when discovered, it is the strain associated with the most severe forms of human disease. Simon Pepper is a former director of WWF Scotland (1985-2005) and Deer Commissioner (2005-10) keen to see deer management delivering a better outcome for all interests. While the maps for red and roe culls show the level of culls per 100 hectares, the maps for sika and fallow show the actual cull totals because of the smaller numbers culled. 30 SNH, in its 2016 report to the Scottish Government on Deer Management in Scotland, referred to the national estimate of 360,000-400,000 red deer given in its evidence to the RACCE Committee in 2013. Rural Forum, Scotland. out more about cookies, Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to know. The Deer Working Group was established by the Scottish Government in 2017, as a result of the Government’s concern at the continuing issues over the standards of deer management in Scotland and the levels of damage to public interests caused by wild deer. 54 The significance of each species in different parts of the country is also illustrated by the maps in Figure 12 (based on cull data for 2014/15). We specialise in supplying wild roe deer and small wild game birds to Michelin star chefs, from our on farm EEC approved plant, throughout the UK. It supports a voluntary approach to deer management but also outlines how and when NatureScot may get involved. This Report is the result of the Group’s review and contains a wide range of recommendations to fulfil the Group’s remit to make “recommendations for changes to ensure effective deer management that safeguards public interests and promotes the sustainable management of wild deer”. However, the distribution of the culls in Scotland can be illustrated by sub-dividing national statistics by Local Authority area. The UK's red deer population doubled in the 50 years leading up to 2018, with more than half of those animals found in Scotland. However, it might be questioned whether the estimates given by SNH for these species remain realistic taking account of their continued range expansion, particularly sika, and factors such as the numbers of each species now shot each year in Scotland. The Red Deer, that lives on the open mountains and moorlands of Scotland, is Britain’s largest wild animal, standing 4ft high at the shoulder. 34 In the 2016 report, SNH’s estimates for the numbers of deer living in Scotland’s woodlands do include a combined total for roe, sika and fallow deer of 125,000-145,000. 3 Clutton-Brock, T. and Albon, S. (1989). These latter two maps illustrate the core areas for sika and fallow deer, as well as the areas into which they are potentially expanding. It specifies land managers’ responsibilities and helps them to identify what they must do, should do and could do to manage deer sustainably.. 50 While the Group makes further references in the rest of this Report to the distinction between the cull return totals in the national cull statistics and the potential actual total culls, all the cull statistics quoted in the Report are based on the data collected through the cull return system. They appear to have been first ... 17.2 Sika Deer. Share. The Management of Wild Red Deer in Scotland. The limited reference to deer management in the current UKWAS standard is that “Management of wild deer shall be based on a strategy that identifies the management objectives, and aims to regulate the impact of deer”, with the additional provisions that “This requirement may involve the setting of cull targets and should involve the membership of a Deer Management Group where … Deer management groups, often on sporting estates, kill certain numbers, but SEL wants the Scottish government to set and enforce higher targets. The following summary was written to provide some historical context for the consideration of changes to the law in the current Land Reform Bill, including the recent amendments on deer management from Mike Russell MSP. [30] SNH confirmed to the Group that these were also the sources of its estimates to the RACCE Committee. 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