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Action Plan Contents

Action Plan Front Page

Caithness Biodiversity Index

Nature & Environment Index

The Sutherland Biodiversity Action Plan - October 2003
Section 2 - Biodiversity Audit


The following pages list the national priority habitats (highlighted) and species that are present in each of the six broad habitats, as well as the local
priorities that have been identified through the consultation exercise. Lists of the priority habitats, and national and local priority species present in Sutherland are given at the end of this section.

Major gaps and constraints
As previously stated, a major constraint to the production of this plan was the lack of a biodiversity
audit summarising available information on habitats and species for Sutherland. The Highlands lack a properly funded and staffed Biological Record centre, and there are enormous gaps in our knowledge of the biodiversity of Sutherland.

The marine environment is much less surveyed and understood than on land, and we do not know the distribution of many important marine habitats and species, much less potentially damaging operations and management requirements

Beach At Strathan

We also know very little about the distribution of groups such as insects and fungi, which are less popular and easily identifiable than flowers and vertebrates, but are nonetheless very important components of our natural systems. Bacteria and other micro-organisms play a much bigger role in the function of ecosystems than hitherto acknowledged, and yet we still know relatively little about bacteria and interactions within the food web, for example, in Sutherland.