Research may seem like a dry academic pursuit, however, nothing is further from the truth. We cannot talk from our stomachs because no one will listen!
In conjunction with Dr. Barry McMahon of UCD, the Trust kick started a research project that would attempt to pin down the question of genetic identity and diversity among Ireland’s Red Grouse. Barry’s research hypothesis was: “are Irish Red Grouse a separate sub-species to Red Grouse in the UK” ?. His second question was “How genetically diverse are Irish Red Grouse”? In terms of Red Grouse conservation, these questions are crucial because Ireland is bound by international obligations to protect diversity within species.
Unfortunately the picture that emerged was not a good one. In terms of genetic diversity, Red Grouse throughout Ireland are squeezed tightly into a genetic bottleneck. This was caused primarily by the loss of Red Grouse habitat, which has been so profound that it effectively created island populations, unable to communicate because they are physically cut off from one another.
For more information follow the link below:
Irish Red Grouse Study