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Man, 63, avoids prosecution following capercaillie disturbance in Strathspey

Capercaillie are red-listed birds. Picture by Mark Hamblin.
Capercaillie are red-listed birds. Picture by Mark Hamblin.

A man has avoided prosecution after being arrested in connection with a disturbance at a capercaillie lek site in Strathspey.

The 63-year-old was flagged to police by surveyors who were counting capercaillies at the site as part of a national monitoring programme.

The alleged incident occurred at a known lek site, where the birds go to mate, and is an offence under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981.

The man was reported to the Crown Office on April 23, but it has since confirmed he will not be prosecuted.

A spokesman from the Crown Office said: “The Procurator Fiscal received a report concerning a 63-year-old man in connection with an alleged incident on April 23 near Grantown-on-Spey.

“After full and careful consideration of all facts and circumstances the case was dealt with by way of an alternative to prosecution (direct measure).”

Direct measures include fines, work orders and warnings.

Capercaillie are red-listed birds, with the RSPB estimating there could only be around 700 of them left in the country.

The Cairngorms Capercaillie Project was launched to raise awareness of the birds as well as to encourage local initiatives to protect them.

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