Wednesday, July 6, 2022
NewsEnvironmentA successful year for Scotland’s nature reserves following COP-26

A successful year for Scotland’s nature reserves following COP-26

NatureScots National Nature Reserves (NNRs) are celebrating a number of environmental success stories this year.

Some of the more prominent stories include the first sightings of the endangered marsh fritillary butterfly since 2016 and the first tern chicks being hatched since 2018.

The sightings of the rare butterflies at Glasdrum NNR leave staff hopeful that the species will return in future years.

endangered butterfly
The rare butterfly has not been seen for nearly 6 years

In the wake of COP-26 these success stories are a good indicator of hope for the future of Scotland’s NNRs.

Further good news has come from across the country, at Moin Mhor NNR drone imagery has revealed good results from peatland restoration works and in the Muir of Dinnet NNR the reserve had its biggest ever redwing fall in October.

Some Shetland NNRs recoded an increase in breeding seabirds, while in the south of Scotland 2000 tress were planted as part of habitat restoration work.

Beinn Eighh NNR in the highlands, the UK’s first NNR, celebrated its 70th anniversary and at Loch Levan NNR an appeal to fund the replacement of the Mill Hide raised almost £30,000.

One of the most exciting came from the Isle of May NNR where for the first time storm petrels were confirmed as breeding on the island. NatureScot staff made the discovery along with the Isle of May Bird Observatory and the UK centre for ecology and hydrology.

A colony of storm petrels has been suspected of existing on the Isle since 2019 when they were first spotted displaying and calling but has only now been confirmed.

NatureScot Chief Executive Francesca Osowska said: “In the year that brought COP26 to Glasgow and focussed the world’s attention on the twin crises of nature loss and climate change, it’s really heartening to reflect on the great work taking place across our National Nature Reserves.

As we head into 2022, it’s fantastic to see these efforts yielding such positive results for nature and for people.”


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