This Secondary Area in Scotland (UK) is defined by the range of Scottish Crossbill Loxia scotica, recently proposed as a full species (e.g. Knox 1990, Sibley and Monroe 1993) having been previously considered conspecific with Common Crossbill L. curvirostra which is widespread across the Holarctic. The population of L. scotica is estimated at 600-2,600 birds, though it appears to fluctuate, and a true understanding of the species' numbers and distribution is hindered by the extreme difficulties in identification, which causes continuing doubt over its taxonomic validity (hence its status as Data Deficient). Core areas for L. scotica (and therefore the most important parts of this Secondary Area) appear to be in the north-west of the Great Glen and in Strathspey and Deeside. The key habitat is native forest of Scots pine Pinus sylvestris, which has decreased in area from 15,000km2 a few hundred years ago to just 120km2 today. The remaining forest is no longer being destroyed at the same rate, and is largely protected, though not all receives adequate management, and there has been underplanting with exotic conifers and natural regeneration is prevented by high deer numbers (Tucker and Heath 1994).
|Scottish Crossbill (Loxia scotica)||LC|
Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Endemic Bird Area factsheet: Caledonian pine forest. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 07/12/2013
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