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In the near future the capercaillie will be extinct in Scotland due to predation, mainly by the pine marten. The pine marten is not in danger of extinction.

Any reasonable person, which I am sure would include the majority of the ordinary members of the RSPB, would agree that in the capercallie’s main areas the pine marten, which is also a major predator of our red squirrel, should be controlled. This is not happening.

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), which has the duty and the powers to protect endangered species, has essentially surrendered this area of its turf to an activist group within the RSPB. This group is constitutionally unable to make decisions where, by their standards, there is no perfect outcome and believe that there can be no sin in inaction.

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The “let nature take its course” stance might have some substance except that, by agriculture and the destruction of all the top predators, we Scots have created a totally unnatural ecosystem.

This problem, which is unavoidably its problem, should be addressed by SNH in consultation with the wider public.

I cannot believe that an SNP government will allow this iconic Scottish bird to be extinguished on its watch.

David J Hogg


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