A principal object of the SOC is to support the conservation of birds and their habitats throughout Scotland. One of the main ways we do this is through the volunteer efforts of many SOC members across the country, collecting observations of birds, contributing to key surveys and making findings available through a range of publications, from local bird reports and breeding bird atlases to the award-winning book The Birds of Scotland.
To further our conservation work, in 2012 the SOC re-joined Scottish Environment LINK, after a gap of 11 years.
Scottish Environment LINK is the forum for Scotland’s voluntary environment organisations. It has over 30 member bodies, including RSPB, Sustrans Scotland, Marine Conservation Society and The John Muir Trust, representing a wide range of environmental interests, with the common goal of contributing to a more environmentally sustainable society.
LINK assists communication between member bodies, government (and its agencies) and other sectors within public society. Acting at local, national and international levels, LINK aims to ensure that the environment is fully recognised in the development of policy and legislation affecting Scotland.
LINK works mainly through its Taskforces: groups of members working together on topics of mutual interest, exploring the environmental issues and developing advocacy strategies to promote these to other interests, the public and decision-makers.
The SOC currently has representation on two LINK taskforces – the Wildlife Forum and the Marine Taskforce.
The Marine Taskforce
Scotland’s seas play host to 45% of the Europe’s breeding seabirds, including around 50% of the world’s Northern Gannet population and a third of the world’s Manx Shearwaters. Four seabird species have more than 95% of their combined British and Irish population in Scotland, while a further fourteen species have more than half of their breeding population in Scottish colonies. St Kilda, a World Heritage Site, is a seabird haven of great significance.
The vision of the LINK Marine Taskforce is of healthy, well-managed seas, where wildlife is flourishing, ecosystems are protected, connected and thriving, and coastal communities are sustained. Late last year the Marine Taskforce was engaged in trying to ensure the quality delivery of the requirements of the Marine (Scotland) Act including the creation of a National Marine Plan by proposing the setting up of a number of Marine Protected Areas. (http://www.savescottishseas.org/).