Population science shapes conservation policy for rare Red-billed Choughs in Scotland


Description of impact

European Union (EU) law stipulates that governments must conserve listed species of conservation concern, necessitating the legal designation of Special Protection Areas (SPA) and the design and implementation of appropriate land management and other targeted conservation policies. Such policies should be underpinned by robust scientific understanding of population ecology, but this is rarely achieved for populations of immediate conservation concern.

A University of Aberdeen study of Scotland's remaining red-billed chough bird population provided the scientific understanding and evidence required to designate a new SPA, introduce new components to the Scottish government's agri-environment policy and underpin emergency management intervention.

The research thereby impacted statutory land designation and agricultural policy, and hence the management and conservation of a figurehead natural population in Scotland
Impact statusImpact Completed (Open)


  • Biological Sciences