On Saturday, Helen and I attended the Glasgow Natural History Society’s annual conference at Glasgow University, entitled Natives, Aliens and Reintroductions: how does ecology inform wildlife conservation in Scotland?

We had been asked to provide an informative poster on species conservation and also to deliver a talk on controlling invasive species in riparian habitats. Helen tackled the poster focusing on water voles and mink control producing an interesting summary of the processes required for a reintroduction of  Arvicola amphibius (or ‘Ratty’ as he is more commonly known).

Before taking my place at the lectern, we heard many interesting talks on a broad range of subjects including Professor Colin Adams talking about introductions and efforts to save rare fish species from further decline or extinction, Professor Jim Dickson presenting a case for not controlling Japanese Knotweed, Dr Lorna Cole from SRUC presenting interesting facts about pollinators and their habitat and Dr Zara Gladman on American Signal Crayfish and how they may or may not impact on salmonid populations and many more.

SB presenting details of the CIRB invasive Weeds project

One of the great benefits of such an event is that we are reminded that there are many aspects to conservation to consider and often our actions have impacts or benefits for other species and habitats that we could hardly predict. I suppose this is science through and through and no matter how much we think we know, there will always be much more to learn.