Highland Perthshire is a “stronghold” for one of Scotland’s most iconic birds.
Black grouse have suffered a national decline but their numbers have been steady in Highland Perthshire since 2002, benefiting especially from native tree planting.
Volunteers have been monitoring the population since 1990 as part of the Perthshire Black Grouse Study Group in an area from Kinloch Rannoch to Kirkmichael and Aberfeldy to Blair Atholl.
520 males were recorded in 2017, down slightly from the 559 males in 2016.
A spokesperson for the Perthshire Black Grouse Study Group said: “A slight fall in numbers is not unusual and is often due to wet weather in previous years that reduces how many chicks survive to become adults.”
There are opportunities for people to see black grouse at close quarters with RSPB Scotland, the John Muir Trust and the Highland Perthshire Communities Land Trust running dawn guided walks to see the birds near Schiehallion.
Claire Smith, RSPB Scotland senior conservation officer, said: “We’re really pleased that black grouse continue to do so well in Highland Perthshire thanks to the hard work and support from estates, land managers and volunteers.”
Liz Auty, Schehallion property manager for the John Muir Trust, said: “Our shared vision is for a restored, vibrant landscape that provides opportunities for wildlife to thrive, for local employment, and for people to enjoy, access and learn.”
For more information visit www.rspb.org.uk/events and search for Perth and Kinross.