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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 November 2007, 11:23 GMT
Launch of major wild bird survey
Black headed gull. Picture by George H Higginbotham
The survey will check the state of the UK's 250 species
The Scottish part of one of the UK's biggest bird surveys will be launched in Kingussie on Saturday.

Over the next four years, the Scottish Ornithologists' Club (SOC) aims to assess hundreds of species.

It and other ornithological organisations aim to understand how recent changes to climate and habitats are affecting bird populations.

Results will be compiled in a winter atlas and will inform conservation work for the next 20 years.

The British Trust for Ornithology and BirdWatch Ireland are also involved and in total will see more than 50,000 people recording their observations.

National picture

The last ornithological study on this scale took place 20 years ago.

For the purposes of the survey, the UK will be divided into 1.5sq-mile (4sq-km) areas of research.

In some areas, local birdwatching clubs will produce more detailed county atlases to complement the national picture.

The Scottish part of the survey will be unveiled at the SOC's annual conference.

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