Status and potential of red grouse in the Spey valley.
This paper reviews the status and recent changes in numbers of red grouse (Lagopus lagopus scoticus) on heather moorlands in the Spey valley. Numbers of grouse have fallen in recent years and, as a consequence of reduced revenue from grouse shooting, a number of estates in the area have sold moorland for alternative forms of land use, such as afforestation. The loss of heather moorland is of concern both to conservationists and sporting interests; improved grouse stocks would provide important income for estates and help prevent the sale of moorland to forestry, thus maintaining the heather-dominant (Calluna vulgaris) habitat and its associated wildlife. Correlative evidence presented in this paper indicates that grouse numbers could be increased by additional management inputs, in particular the re-employment of moorland keepers.