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Professor Steve Albon appointed to new lowland deer expert panel

Professor Steve Albon (c) James Hutton Institute
"This expert group will help us achieve that and identify how we can better manage our wild deer in the lowlands, and whether improvements can be made"

Professor Steve Albon, an Honorary Research Associate of the James Hutton Institute, has been appointed a member of a new expert panel established by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) to examine complex issues related to deer management in the Scottish lowlands.

The group will look at the nature of deer impacts and examine how best to involve and work collaboratively with private landowners, agricultural interests, local authorities and other public agencies. Its work will contribute to the Scottish Government’s ongoing review of deer management across Scotland.

Cabinet Secretary for the Environment Roseanna Cunningham said: “I asked for this group to be set up following the reports on deer management by SNH and the Scottish Parliament’s Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee, both of which highlighted the importance of better understanding the impacts of deer in the lowlands.

“This expert group will help us achieve that and identify how we can better manage our wild deer in the lowlands, and whether improvements can be made to minimise the cost of deer road vehicle collisions, as well as reducing the environmental impact.”

Professor Steve Albon commented: “While the issues of red deer in the uplands have been well studied, our knowledge of the impacts of the ubiquitous roe deer, and other species of deer, living in the diverse habitats of the lowlands of Scotland, is generally poor, but assumed to be increasingly damaging to the public interest.

“I am delighted to join the SNH Lowland Deer Panel and help synthesise the current understanding and address ways to fill the knowledge gaps necessary for a more adaptive and sustainable deer management in future.”

SNH Chairman Mike Cantlay added: “With more trees planted in the lowlands of Scotland every year, the number of deer has also been increasing steadily. Many of us enjoy seeing deer, but we also need to be aware that, in some areas, too many deer can affect forests, cause damage to crops and natural areas, and increase road accidents.

“The new panel will review these issues and consider what needs to be put in place to ensure deer numbers are kept at the right balance for conservation, agriculture and road safety.”

Besides Professor Albon, panel members include chair Peter Watson (Deer Initiative), Eirwen Hopwood (West Lothian Council), independent consultant Professor Jochen Langbein, David Quarrell (South Lanarkshire Deer Group), Karen Ramoo (Scottish Land & Estates) and Jane Rosegrant (Borders Forest Trust).

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Printed from /news/professor-steve-albon-appointed-new-lowland-deer-expert-panel on 18/04/24 01:20:52 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.