Question reference: S1W-14472
- Asked by: Linda Fabiani, MSP for Central Scotland, Scottish National Party
- Date lodged: 23 March 2001
Current status: Answered by Rhona Brankin on 11 April 2001
To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to further the conservation of the capercaillie in line with the EU Wild Birds Directive and what new actions the Forestry Commission will take to better protect capercaillie within (a) Natura 2000 sites and (b) forests adjacent to Natura 2000 sites.
In view of the decline in capercaillie numbers, the Scottish Executive has decided to introduce a statutory ban on the shooting of the species. This will be effected by Scottish Statutory Instrument to reschedule the species from Schedule 2, Part I to Schedule 1, Part I of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.The Scottish Executive receives advice from its statutory nature conservation advisers, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), on the classification as Special Protection Areas (SPAs) of the most suitable territories for capercaillie under the EC Birds Directive. A suite of six SPAs has been classified in Scotland and additional sites are under consideration. These SPAs form part of the Natura 2000 network. Activities within these SPAs must comply with the provisions of the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994.As required by European legislation, the Forestry Commission will make an appropriate assessment of the implications of proposed forestry operations which are likely to have a significant effect on any Natura 2000 site before deciding whether to approve those operations.