Dr Watson looks to life of mammals

Dr Watson's new book
Dr Watson's new book

Deeside’s foremost naturalist has turned his ever curious eye to the life of local mammals in his newest title.

Dr Adam Watson has devoted his life to the scientific study of the Cairngorms and the surrounding areas.

In his newest book, titled ‘Mammals in North- east Higlands’, Adam looks back on previously unpublished data on red deer, mountain hares and others, asking questions about sustainability, in what makes for a truly fascinating read.

The octogenarian scientist told the Piper: “The inspiration for the book was to put on record many unpublished observations by me on red deer and mountain hares, as well as other mammals. You will notice that one chapter is a collation of records of fish, amphibia, reptiles and mammals by a number of observers. It’s the most complete record of these in the Cairngorms area and especially upper Deeside.”

The newest title joins his writings over the last 58 years, which include over 20 books and countless scientific publications.

In ‘Mammals in North- east Highlands’ some incredible findings have been discovered.

Dr Watson pointed out some of the challenges facing the creatures: “Red deer almost became extinct around 1780-90, and occurred only in a few very high remote mountainous areas with a very low population of local farmers in the high glens. In Deeside they were restricted to small parts of Mar Lodge deer-forest, Glen Tanar, and Invercauld, with none in Balmoral, Glen Muick, Dinnet and east of Glen Tanar. I (also) document declines to near extinction on many grouse moors since 1990, due to severe killing by moorland estates...”

The book is available, priced £9.99, from Deeside Books in Ballater, Dinnet books and on amazon.com.