Meeting the challenge of wild deer research to support delivery of sustainable deer management in Scotland


A joint Scottish Natural Heritage/Forestry Commission/Scottish Government project awarded funding through the Scottish Government's Contract Research Fund and undertaken in collaboration with Scotland's Rural College (SRUC).

Deer Scotland website

The Wild Deer research project was established to help deliver the long-term vision of sustainable deer management in Scotland. This vision has been encapsulated in Scotland's Wild Deer: a National Approach (WDNA) which outlines challenges in relation to five key priorities; collaboration and effective deer management planning and implementation, healthy ecosystems, lowland and urban, economic and community development and training and deer welfare.

The aims of the wild deer research project were to:

  • review existing research on wild deer management;
  • identify research gaps;
  • gather stakeholder views on research gaps;
  • encourage the use of research on wild deer management, and
  • facilitate knowledge exchange.

In order to achieve these aims the views of stakeholders were gathered at a series of workshops hosted across Scotland, an online survey of researchers and policy makers conducted and a review of published and unpublished research material. The information gathered through the multiple methods was analysed to help determine the key research and knowledge transfer gaps associated with the five WDNA priorities.

As part of the project a website was created which provides an online database of deer research relevant to the five WDNA priorities alongside other relevant web resources. Access the website here.

The final report can be downloaded from the NatureScot website 

For more information, please contact Dr Rosalind Bryce.