Home / Science & Research / Supported Projects Past and Present / Detecting changes in deer numbers in space and time Detecting changes in deer numbers in space & timeDurham University - Gauthier, Irvine & Stephens Photo by: Matthew DixonFIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE PILOT STUDY The highlands are an iconic feature of Scotland. The open moorland and mountain landscapes are valued and enjoyed by both residents and visitors, while these areas also provide the resources for a range of activities such as hill farming, deer stalking, game birds, forestry and fishing, which help to support the rural economy. In recent years, a number of drivers of change have affected deer management in the uplands. These fall into three into three broad areas. First, there has been an increasing policy emphasis on managing grazing impacts through reducing deer densities, especially for priority habitats.Second, culling and fencing associated with increased woodland planting has affected deer numbers and distribution. Third, trends in recreation coupled with the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 have led to increasing numbers of people accessing rural areas to walk in the mountains. These changes have led, in some cases, to conflicts between the legitimate objectives of landowners and the public benefits that highland landscapes provide.An improved understanding of the nature of such conflicts might aid their management. Here, we focus on an example of where recreational land use might be impacting on the economics of deer stalking. Specifically, we report on a pilot study to identify whether available management information can be used to access trends in the abundance, culling levels, distribution and habitat preferences of red deer (Cervus elaphus L.), in order to determine whether further research into the drivers of change might be warranted DOWNLOAD THE PILOTSTUDY - DETECTING CHANGES FURTHER READING Surveillance for Coronaviruses in Wildlife The British Deer Society is asking its members and supporters to assist with a surveillance study looking into coronaviruses in wildlife. This study aims to support the development of diagnostic tests, aid future surveillance, and improve preparedness for future coronavirus outbreaks. BDS CEO Goes Live On TalkTV To Promote Fact-led Deer Management David Mcauley, British Deer Society (BDS) CEO went live on TalkTV and Radio at the weekend to promote the importance of having more fact-led approaches in deer management, less sensationalism in the media around total UK deer numbers and to speak up for deer welfare. Deer Management in the UK: Sustainability Verses Eradication Recently, we received a heartfelt letter from a dedicated member of the British Deer Society (BDS), a seasoned deer stalker with 30 years of experience who was dismayed by the indiscriminate and unsustainable shooting of roe deer around his management areas. His words shed light on the evolving challenges faced by conscientious deer managers who prioritise legal and humane practices in an environment where not all shooters share the same values.