Shooting is helping threatened and endangered wildlife species in the UK by managing land to provide better habitats and to improve biodiversity.
Shooting is involved in the management of two-thirds of land in the countryside. That management involves habitat creation and maintenance to produce healthy eco-systems which support wildlife from plants and insects to birds and mammals.
The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) runs a Green Shoots programme which supports, encourages and delivers conservation projects. So far the BASC Green Shoots programme has shared 48,000 wildlife records with conservation partner organisations.
More than 320 shoots are using Green Shoots Mapping, an online tool which records where species are present in the countryside and offers unique access to wildlife information. BASC works in partnership with other organisations to work on identified priority species.
In Cheshire, land managed for shooting provided the first evidence of dormice existing in the county. Now habitats are being linked together through the Green Shoots programme to provide wildlife corridors which will allow the dormouse population to spread and thrive.
In the South West, BASC has been working on trapping mink from the Somerset levels down to the West Dorset coast. Mink were released and escaped into the environment but are voracious predators which can devastate wildlife.
In North Wales, shoots are working alongside red squirrel preservation groups to manage the population of grey squirrels and provide better habitat for the native red.
Ian Danby, head of biodiversity projects at BASC said: “With wildlife threatened by habitat loss and conflict with man, land managed for shooting acts as an oasis for wildlife. Two million hectares of land are actively managed for conservation as a result of shooting.
By working constructively with people on the ground and with other conservation organisations, people who shoot make a targeted and effective contribution to help ensure the future of our wildlife. The answer to habitat loss is landscape-scale conservation and shooting delivers that every day. ”
For further information on BASC Green Shoots programme please click here