Blog by Ed Snell, Project Support & Development – NatureSpy
Deep in the Scottish Highlands, Alladale Wilderness Reserve covers 23,000 acres across a mosaic of habitats that include coniferous and deciduous woodlands, peatland, heath and grasslands. These habitats support a diverse range of species, from wading birds and water voles in the wetlands, pine martens and foxes in the woodlands, to mountain hares and birds of prey on the hilltops. Ambitious rewilding efforts at the reserve have seen over a million trees planted to date, helping the area to become increasingly biodiverse in years to come. Springwatch viewers may already be familiar with the reserve, as it was one of the featured locations this year.
We’re currently working with Alladale to support on their camera trap surveys that are enabling the Reserve to learn more about its wildlife and gather lots of engaging footage in the process. This is being carried out through a species inventory survey with camera traps that cover a diverse range of habitats, enabling identification of which species are present and where. Although mammals are the key focus for this type of survey, a good amount of footage is gathered for bird species too. This survey approach helps to understand the status of a wide range of species and guide conservation efforts moving forward. Camera traps have proven particularly useful in helping the reserve to learn more about the elusive species in the area, including mountain hares, water voles and pine martens.