Published in support of the UK Biodiversity Action Plan for black grouse

Black grouse Biodiversity Action Plan

In June 1992, the Convention on Biological Diversity was signed by 159 governments at the 'Earth Summit' in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It entered into force on 29 December 1993 and was the first treaty to provide a legal framework for biodiversity conservation. It called for the creation and enforcement of national strategies and action plans to conserve, protect and enhance biological diversity.

UK Biodiversity Action Plan
In response, in 1994 the UK government launched Biodiversity: the UK Action Plan, to implement the Convention signed in Rio. Among other things, it set out a priority list of habitats and species which were at risk in the UK, and set targets and action plans for their recovery.

As one of the most rapidly declining bird species in the UK, with only 6,500 lekking males, black grouse is a high priority for conservation, and is one of 26 bird species for which a UK Biodiversity Action Plan has been produced. The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust and the RSPB have been designated Lead Partners for black grouse by the government, with Scottish Natural Heritage as the government contact point. Statutory and non-governmental organisations work together to achieve these targets, through a range of actions described elsewhere on this website. For more information about the UK BAP for black grouse, click here.

Country steering groups
Following a review in 2002, the UK steering group considered how best to deliver the UK BAP for black grouse. It is clear that restoring the black grouse population is complex, influenced by a range of factors and policies that affect different types of land-use. These tend to be different in Scotland, Wales and England, and the power to achieve the targets is in the hands of a range of organisations, many of which operate in only one of these countries.

So, responsibility for delivery of the black grouse BAP now rests with steering groups in England, Scotland and Wales. Matters that are best co-ordinated at a UK level - such as co-ordinating monitoring and good practice, sharing information (such as through this website) and reporting on progress to government – are managed by a smaller group, comprising the lead partners and the government contact point, in conjunction with the convenors/chairs of each country steering group.