Scottish Raptor Study Group

Monitoring and conserving Scotland's birds of prey




Annual Conference

The Scottish Raptor Study Group holds its annual conference in Perthshire each February. The conference is a private event for members only, although limited invitations are sometimes offered to representatives of partner organisations.

The Area Groups take it in turns to host the event and this provides regional members with an opportunity to give informal presentations about raptor studies in their particular region. In addition, there are often a number of scientific presentations of national interest. A highlight is always the Derek Ratcliffe Memorial Lecture which is typically given by a guest speaker of international standing.

The annual conference is always well attended and draws in members from across Scotland. Plenty of time for chatting and catching up with friends and colleagues is factored into the programme, with long coffee breaks and an extended lunch.

The 2017 conference was hosted by the Lothian & Borders Raptor Study Group and included the following topics and speakers:

Merlins in the Lammermuirs, 1984-2014 (Ian Poxton); Sparrowhawks in Edinburgh - new opportunities or ecological trap? (Mike Thornton); Hen harriers - results from the 2016 National Survey (Simon Wotton); South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project (Cat Barlow); More on Scottish Raptor Monitoring Scheme developments (Amy Challis); Raptors of the edge: 15 years of monitoring on Lewis & Harris (Robin Reid); South Scotland peregrines - where are we now? (George Smith); Secrets in the forest (Clive McKay); Raptors in art (Keith Brockie). The Derek Ratcliffe Memorial Lecture was given by Dr Pertti Saurola on Life of the Ural owl in a cyclic environment. The SRSG AGM included reports from the SRSG Secretary and the SRSG Treasurer. The winner of this year's Donald and Jeff Watson Memorial Award was Wendy Mattingley. We were also pleased to welcome Cabinet Secretary for the Environment Roseanna Cunningham who discussed raptor persecution and the Government's next steps in tackling this issue.

Programme & booking forms for the 2018 conference (organised by North East Scotland Raptor Study Group) will be available towards the end of 2017.


Photo by Ruth Tingay

SRSG annual conference