Quinag Lochs Project – A Study of Aquatic Invertebrate Communities

June 7th 2020

Quinag Lochs Project – A Study of Aquatic Invertebrate Communities

Funded by Culag Community Woodland Trust Ltd, John Muir Trust, Assynt Field Club, Substance (Assynt Angling Research), Scottish Wildlife Trust, and the Sutherland Partnership Environmental Fund, which was supported by Leader and Scottish Natural Heritage.

Introduction

The Quinag Lochs Project was undertaken by Gwenllian M. Richards from Assynt Field Club during July and August 2010. It was a study of aquatic invertebrates in several lochans around the base of the 808 metre mountain, Quinag, which lies in the parish of Assynt, south-west Sutherland.

This project was a follow-up to the Little Assynt Lochs Project which also recorded aquatic invertebrates in a group of lochs on the Little Assynt Estate, in the summer of 2010. This Little Assynt study was carried out by Caroline Bowes for the Culag Community Woodland Trust who own that estate.

While the Little Assynt lochs all lie on Lewisian Gneiss, the eight lochs sampled around Quinag were chosen because they lie on three different base rocks: Lewisian Gneiss, Torridonian Sandstone and Cambrian Quartzite. The aims of the project were to give an indication as to what species might be present and whether any comparison could be made between the lochs on different rock types. The Unapool Burn lochans were chosen because of their small size and a previous record of Dytiscus lapponicus, the highland great diving beetle.

The 3,699 hectare Quinag Estate is owned and managed by the John Muir Trust who partially funded this project. Other funders were the Culag Community Woodland Trust, the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Sutherland Partnership Environmental Fund (which was supported by Leader and Scottish Natural Heritage), Substance (Assynt Angling Research) and the Assynt Field Club.

The final report was published in May 2012 and can be found at this link –

Quinag Lochs Project Final Report – A Study of Aquatic Invertebrate Communities

 

 

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Recent Sightings

Kestrel

Two birds hunting near Oldany Farm (DAH) (17/08)

Scotch Argus butterfly

Six butterflies near Loch Poll track end (DAH) (17/08)

Speckled Wood butterfly

Four+ butterflies in trees around Loch Poll Hydro plant room (DAH) (17/08)

Common Darter dragonfly

30+ dragonflies on track to Loch Poll (DAH) (17/08)

Whimbrel

Single bird in shallows at low tide, Bay of Stoer (Charlie Leeson) (16/08)

Great Skua

Two birds drinking from freshwater streams on beach at low tide, Bay of Stoer (Charlie Leeson) (16/08)

Otter

Single animal, by Stac Fada (John Gilbertson) (16/08)

White-tailed Eagle

Single bird over Culkein Drumbeg (DAH).  Possibly same bird seen over Bay of Stoer (Charlie Leeson) (14/08)

Map