As the grouse shooting season begins today, ecologists said a model could be developed to explore a possible compromise solution between conservationists and the grouse hunters.
The hen harrier is a natural predator of the red grouse but the study suggests that under certain conditions a solution could be achieved where the birds could co-exist with profitable grouse shooting.
The study, led by Professor Steve Redpath of the University of Aberdeen, involves grouse managers, conservationists and ecologists, and used science as a way to try and find a solution.
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