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29 October 2014
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Scotland The Wild

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Wildlife Map fish_invert Great Skua
This stout game bird, long associated with the heather moors of Britain, has suffered a long-term decline in recent years. This is probably due to changes in habitat management and predator numbers.
Latin Name: Lagopus lagopus scoticus

Scottish Name: Coileach-fraoich.

Meaning: Cock of the heather.

Statistics: Body length 37-42cm, wingspan 55-66cm, weight 450-750g.

Physical Description: Small-headed, rotund gamebird, slightly larger than the ptarmigan, with short, rectangular wings and tail.
Scottish Distribution: Found on Lewis, Harris, North Uist, scarce from Benbecula southwards. Also local populations on Inner Hebrides, Shetland and Orkneys. On the mainland, they are found in East Fife, West Ayrshire, North Argyll and West Invernessshire.

Habitat: Treeless tundra, moors and heaths, wherever heather and berry-bearing dwarf shrubs flourish.

Diet: Feeds from the ground. In Britain, this is primarily heather throughout the year. Will also take a variety of berries, new leaves and shoots.

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