Black Grouse Fight Back
Despite having a tough 2010, suffering a devastating decline in population, things could be looking up slightly for populations of black grouse in northern England. The fortunes of black grouse were affected by a series of weather-related setbacks in recent years. However, researchers from the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust carried out early morning spring counts in the Pennines and Yorkshire Dales which showed that numbers of the game birds are growing in strength in those areas.
Encouraging estimates show that last year’s population of only 500 males has risen to 820 this spring – but elsewhere in the northern parts of England, the news is grim. Numbers of black grouse have fallen from 100 males in 2002 to only 6 this spring in northern Northumberland. Nonetheless, the trust has described itself as pleased with the improvements in other areas. In the Yorkshire Dales, moving males away from the core of their ranges to fringe areas was found to be a significant boost.