27 April 2018 by Chris Cathrine | Comments: 0
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On 17th March 2018, Director Chris Cathrine presented the results of Site Condition Monitoring invertebrate surveys at Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) in Tayside, at the Tayside Recorders’ Day, in Perth. Some of the results of these surveys, completed between 2011 and 2017 under contract to Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), have not been made publicly available before, other than as records on NBN Atlas.
Caledonian Conservation Ltd has completed Site Condition Monitoring of invertebrate features for 56 SSSIs in Scotland between 2011 and 2017 under contract SNH. Of these SSSIs, five were located in Tayside: Barry Links (2011), Black Wood of Rannoch (2013), Den of Airlie (2015), Dollar Glen (2013), and Methven Woods (2015).
Among the stand out finds were the rediscover of the extinct flutter-wing fly Palloptera laetabilis and finding other rare invertebrate such as the lichen running-spider (Philodromus margaritatus).
The conference presentation and article in the Tayside Recorders’ Bulleting which includes the conference proceedings can be downloaded via the Caledonian Conservation Ltd publications page.
For more information about Tayside Biodiversity Partnership, who organised the conference, please visit: http://www.taysidebiodiversity.co.uk/
For more information about SNH and their work, please visit: https://www.nature.scot/
Photo: The lichen running-spider (Philodromus margaritatus) - one of the rare species found during surveys of SSSIs in Tayside.
02 November 2017 by Chris Cathrine | Comments: 0
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Caledonian Conservation Ltd is proud to sponsor the Tay Landscape Partnership Buildings for Biodiversity Conference, to be held at Perth Concert Hall on 9th November. As people expand urban environments and develop new areas for natural resources such as renewable energy, it is becoming increasingly clear that segregation of wildlife and development is not realistic; instead, we need to ensure biodiversity benefits are integrated in to these projects. This conference therefore tackles an important and very current topic.
While developments offer obvious challenges for wildlife, there are many opportunities to benefit biodiversity. Tay Landscape Partnership pioneered a landscape scale approach to identifying these opportunities with their Buildings for Biodiversity and Tay to Braes projects, which we are proud to have contributed to at Caledonian Conservation Ltd.
The conference programme is wide ranging, covering wildlife law and development, mitigation and enhancement for species, or broader biodiversity opportunities such as green roofs. The speakers are from an equally diverse range of organisations, including Gaia Research, Swift Conservation, Police Scotland, and Arc Architects Ltd. Pioneering and inspirational urban ecologist Dusty Gedge will also be giving a talk on Nature-‘based Solutions in the Urban Real.’
As well as the main presentations, there will also be a series of shorter talks including one by Caledonian Conservation Ltd Director Chris Cathrine, as well as Butterfly Conservation Scotland, Inchture Parish Church, Hillcrest Housing Association, Bat Conservation Trust, and the local Amphibian and Reptile Group.
For more information on the event, visit the The Tay Landscape Partnership Buildings for Biodiversity Conference website.
For more information on the landscape scale biodiversity work Caledonian Conservation Ltd completed for Tay Landscape Partnership’s Buildings for Biodiversity and Tay to Braes projects, download the report from our publications page, or directly here: Cathrine, C., Flood, E., Norris, G. and Johnston, S. 2015. Tay Landscape Partnership: Habitats and Buildings Survey. Caledonian Conservation Ltd, Hamilton.
08 May 2017 by Chris Cathrine | Comments: 0
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Caledonian Conservation sponsored The Wildlife Information Centre (TWIC) Spring Conference ‘Farming and Biodiversity in Scotland – An Essential Partnership’ at Musselburgh on Saturday 29th April. Niall Currie (Assistant Ecologist) reports...
The event was very well attended and allowed farmers, land managers, ecologists and biological recorders to meet and exchange ideas. The excellent range of topics varied from the experience of individual farmers carrying out conservation projects on their farms, to global issues such as planning how best to manage soils and the incredibly complex ecological communities they support.
Other talks included individual species conservation projects, such as the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust’s research into improving the survival prospects of grey partridge (Perdix perdix) on farms by increasing vegetation cover during the breeding season and over winter.
The break for lunch, gave attendees the opportunity to explore stands and learn about TWIC’s latest citizen science project - the Scottish Spider Search - which Caledonian Conservation has helped to develop in partnership with the British Arachnological Society and Buglife.
The afternoon session included an update from Pete Minting (Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust) on the exciting ‘Great Crested Newt Detectives Project’, which has been trialing new methods of using DNA samples of pond water to determine whether great crested newts, and to which Caledonian Conservation has also contributed by surveying remote ponds and providing control samples from known sites.
The conference was a great success, being the largest arranged by TWIC to date, and a ‘sell out’ (although Caledonian Conservation’s sponsorship allowed the conference to be free to attend).
13 April 2017 by Chris Cathrine | Comments: 0
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Caledonian Conservation Ltd is proud to sponsor The Wildlife Information Centre (TWIC) 2017 Spring Conference, to be held in Musselburgh on 29th April. The topic, Farming and Biodiversity, is always important but is brought in to sharper focus with the uncertainty created by Brexit.
Farming and biodiversity are an essential partnership – farming cannot succeed without the ecosystem services necessary to support it, such as pollination (by wild solitary bees, bumblebees, beetles, flies, butterflies and moths as well as domesticated honey bees), soil creation and recycling (by a variety of worms, springtails, symphylans, fungi – the list goes on!), clean water and natural pest control. Farming can also offer excellent opportunities to support biodiversity, for example birds (breeding habitat for farmland bird species, nesting opportunities for owls, foraging habitat for raptors and owls), mammals (foraging and roosting opportunities for bats), reptiles (hibernation sites in walls and foraging opportunities in field margins), amphibians (ponds and a mix of farmland habitats can be excellent for great crested newts), invertebrates and plants.
Reflecting this, the conference has a superb and varied programme with talks on soil communities (by Dr Tim Daniell of University of Sheffield / The James Hutton Institute), grey partridge conservation (by Fiona Torrance of The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust) and great crested newts (by Pete Minting of Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust) amongst other topics.
Of course, members of the Caledonian Conservation Ltd team will also be at the conference, so it is an opportunity to learn more about the work we do.
The conference is free to attend, and includes a buffet lunch.
For more information on the programme and to book, visit the TWIC website.
We hope to see you there!
23 November 2016 by Chris Cathrine | Comments: 0
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Caledonian Conservation Ltd presented a case study of reptile mitigation work we have been undertaking in Scotland at a conference on 9th October 2016 in Cheddar focussing on adder conservation in the UK - The Vanishing Viper: Priorities for adder conservation (organised by Amphibian & Reptile Groups of the UK and Amphibian & Reptile Conservation Trust).
The case study involves an underground cable route which will connect RES Ltd Freasdail Wind Farm to the grid. This route crosses over 10 km of reptile habitat where adders, common lizards and slow-worms are present. However, the construction methods are relatively low impact and transient. As the erection of a reptile fence of such length would have a greater negative effect than the construction itself, an innovative approach was developed to avoid harm to reptiles during works. This contrasts with the construction of the wind farm itself, where traditional reptile mitigation using fencing was appropriate.
The presentation was given while works were still in progress, however construction of the cable has since finished and no evidence of harm to reptiles has been recorded. Therefore, in this case, we conclude that the approach developed was appropriate for Freasdail Wind Farm. However, at present there is no formal published guidance on reptile mitigation in the UK and this is urgently needed to help protect these special animals.
We hope to publish a detailed article on the mitigation approach and results in the future, so that other ecologists may learn from this work in the absence of formal guidance.
As Director Chris Cathrine was expecting the imminent arrival of his second child, Ian Bradley (Ecological Clerk of Works for much of the project) kindly delivered the presentation, which is available to download here.
For more information about RES Ltd, go to: http://www.res-group.com/en
For more information about Amphibian & Reptile Groups of the UK, go to: http://www.arguk.org
For more information about Amphibian & Reptile Conservation Trust, go to: http://www.arc-trust.org