Cairngorm Cranes, development period

£5,981 awarded

Although once widespread, cranes became extinct in the 1500s due to pressures from over-hunting & draining of wetlands reducing available habitat.  Reintroduced on a small scale in the 1970s, there are currently 2-4 breeding pairs in Aberdeenshire with occasional, single birds seen in the Cairngorms.  Working in partnership with the Cairngorms National Park Authority & Trees for Life, Scotland: The Big Picture completed a feasibility study in 2020 for the reintroduction of cranes which confirmed sufficient suitable habitat & feeding are available.  The next stage in the project is to spend 12months further assessing & planning the reintroduction; undertaking public & stakeholder engagement; exploring the opportunities, risks, impact & challenges further; identifying suitable release & donor sites (the cranes would be raised from eggs imported at the latest possible development stage & then hand-reared before release); obtaining relevant permissions & licences; & obtaining funding.  This grant is a contribution to the costs for this stage.