The Scottish Government has confirmed, it will fund baseline research to help Scotland’s venison producers and processors better understand the UK venison market, its challenges, and opportunities.
Normalising the shooting of deer at night will have long term implications for their welfare and distribution says Scotland’s deer managers who want to be consulted on new control methods.
Public agencies are considering thermal and night vision equipment with a view to potentially legalising its use for lowering deer numbers. Shooting deer at night is prohibited in Scotland unless authorised by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and is not legal in countries such as Germany, Sweden, Denmark or Austria.
However, The Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) believe Scotland’s iconic deer are already changing their behaviour due to being targeted by controllers in darkness. Applications to SNH to control deer at night to protect forestry have risen by over 300 percent in the last decade, as public agencies move from fencing as a management solution.
The Woodland Creation and Ecological Networks (the WrEN project) is about to begin a new project using camera traps to look at the impact of deer on biodiversity in WrEN project woodlands - with funding from BDS.
The work will be carried out by researchers in the faculty of Natural Sciences at the University of Stirling.
In Graubünden in eastern Switzerland, drones with thermal imaging cameras have spotted and rescued 450 newborn deer hidden in meadows and pastures due to be harvested.
Throughout the season across the area, the drones flew around 1,100 missions coordinated by BKPJV, saving 450 fawns during pre-harvest inspections using thermal cameras.
An app to track ticks and prevent Lyme disease has been launched in the Highlands, with funding from the European and UK space agencies.
The £1.1 million project will allow members of the public to report tick sightings and bites and help scientists monitor cases of Lyme disease.
Developed by International Disease Mapping Apps, a new company formed by Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), LymeApp uses satellite data to highlight where the disease has been detected across the northern hemisphere.
Data will be monitored by the Scottish Lyme Disease and Tick-borne Infections Reference Laboratory in Inverness, where developers hope to use the information to stop the spread of the infection.
BDS has been briefing BBC journalists about the dangers of getting too close to park deer.
Despite repeated warnings, some members of the public are continuing to get dangerously close to deer. Which the BBC highlighted in their article "Wollaton Park deer selfie warning ignored by visitors".
With the Autumn rut season just around the corner, BDS wanted to urge the public to stay safe when watching deer.
Deer are wild animals and park deer are no exception. They may be used to humans and will tolerate our presence, but don't be tempted to get too close in search of a photo or a special encounter.
Please keep your distance!
BDS Trustee Director Professor Simon Gibson launched its new deer app on Friday 26th July at The Game Fair 2019.
The official BDS app has been designed for anyone with an interest in UK deer. Key features include information on our deer species, advice related to deer, ability to record a deer sighting and contribute to our survey work, weather, sunrise and sunset times, recipes, useful contacts and more.
Whether you are new to deer or a seasoned deer enthusiast this is the perfect app for you.
Download the app today:
Play Store link:
Apple App Store link:
BDS members across mainland Britain provided ticks and deer blood samples during 2018 to assist with research project work carried out for Public Health England (PHE), Porton Down.
Researcher Maya Holding adds:
"Thank you very much for BDS’s support and promotion of the study, it really helped us in recruiting volunteers from across the country. We are planning a follow-up study in the near future and will provide further details in the near future."
This week the PHE Communications office reported:
Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV), which is endemic in many European countries, has been found for the first time in a very small number of ticks in Thetford Forest. These are early research findings and indicate the need for more work, however, the risk to the general public is currently assessed to be very low.