Rare Slavonian grebes' choice of lochs studied

Slavonian grebe. Image: RSPB Slavonian grebes were not found at lochs where there were pike

Related Stories

Factors influencing where one of Scotland's rarest birds chooses to breed have been investigated.

Slavonian grebe are only found on lochs in the north of Scotland and there are thought to be 29 breeding pairs.

RSPB Scotland wanted to better understand their favoured habitat to help guide conservation efforts.

Its study suggested the birds preferred moderately-sized lochs with clear water, an abundance of small fish and plenty nesting sites.

The research, which was part-funded by Scottish Natural Heritage, also suggested the grebes did not thrive on lochs where they had to compete with pike for prey.

Ron Summers, RSPB Scotland's principal conservation scientist, said there was much to be learned about the birds' behaviour.

He said: "This research helps us understand what kind of conditions are suitable for grebes when raising young.

"In this way, we can help ensure suitable habitat is maintained and that the species isn't competing against others, such as pike, for food.

"By considering these measures we stand a better chance of improving breeding success in the future."

Tim Dawson, SNH south Highlands area officer, added: "We'd all like to make sure these striking birds not only remain in the Highlands, but also increase their small numbers. This study is an important first step, giving us information on how to help protect these vulnerable birds."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Highlands & Islands

Weather

Inverness

Min. Night 8 °C

Features & Analysis

  • Cartoon of women chatting on the metroChat wagon

    The interesting things you hear in a women-only carriage


  • Replica of a cargo boxSpecial delivery

    The man who posted himself to the other side of the world


  • Music scoreFinal score Watch

    Goodbye to NYC's last classical sheet music shop


  • Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton checks her Blackberry from a desk inside a C-17 military plane upon her departure from Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, bound for Tripoli, Libya'Emailgate'

    Hillary gets a taste of scrutiny that lies ahead


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Woman standingMysterious miracle

    It's extremely unusual and shouldn't give false hope, but what makes the body beat cancer on its own?

Programmes

  • A cyborg cockroachClick Watch

    The cyborg cockroach - why has a computer been attached to this insect’s nervous system?

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.