Landowners have come under fire from the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) for illegally killing birds of prey, culling too many mountain hares and bulldozing too many hill tracks.

A new approach to moorland management agreed by the park board on Friday also criticised landowners for erecting fences across hillsides without consulting their neighbours. The fences can harm wildlife, as can the poorly managed burning of heather, the CNPA warned.

The park authority is concerned that hunting estates' success in boosting red grouse numbers so there are more to shoot has been at the expense of other wildlife.

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A CNPA report said: "There are concerns about the single-species focus of this management and negative impacts on other species and habitats in the national park.

"A central question relates to the cumulative effects at a landscape scale of an increase in intensity of management for grouse in areas characterised by a high degree of wildness."

The report warned that illegal persecution of birds of prey to protect grouse has a "very damaging effect" on conservation and public understanding, adding: "There is an unfortunate record of illegal raptor persecution in and around the national park, which risks undermining the park's reputation as a well-managed place for nature and wildlife tourism."

Sporting estates also kill mountain hares to try to prevent them from spreading disease to grouse, but the report said: "There is a risk that hare control is excessive and will lead to a perception that the hare population is at risk in the absence of effective monitoring."

It also highlighted the "proliferation" of hill tracks on grouse moors, cautioning that "their cumulative impacts have a very significant effect on landscape, wildness, habitat and the recreation experience". And it detailed multiple problems with fencing and also with heather burning.

Managed moorlands cover 44% of the Cairngorms National Park, but this may have to be reduced to protect wildlife, the report suggested: "To achieve Cairngorms nature targets we would anticipate some reduction in overall proportion of moorland without the loss of the important moorland habitat networks."

Hamish Trench, CNPA's conservation director, said moorland management was crucial to delivering conservation, visitor experience and rural development. He added: "Over recent years though, there has been an increase in management techniques designed to maximise production of red grouse for sport with concerns expressed about their integration with wider land-use objectives.

"We want to work with land managers to explore how to deliver greater diversity of habitat and species benefits. We have an opportunity to collaborate more on bringing together land management business objectives with opportunities for conservation gain."

The CNPA's new approach was welcomed by bird charity RSPB Scotland. Duncan Orr-Ewing, RSPB Scotland's head of species and land management, said: "In recent years, we have seen an increase in unsustainable management practices associated with driven grouse shooting in the CNPA and elsewhere in Scotland.

"While this single issue land management has achieved year-on-year record-breaking grouse numbers for sporting purposes, we consider that this activity comes at significant environmental cost."

The costs included illegal killing of birds of prey, the culling of mountain hares, the creation of hill tracks and heather burning on peatlands, he argued.

Scottish Land & Estates, an umbrella group which represents landowners, said it was "delighted" to be working with the CNPA.

Tim Baynes, director of the landowners' Scottish Moorland Group, said: "The strategy will explore how individual estates, which all have different management objectives and are already delivering a range of public benefits, can do so more effectively and in a more joined-up way.

"The park recognises the huge contribution that grouse moors make to upland habitats, birdlife, jobs, culture and remote communities, and understands the operations that are necessary to provide those benefits, and that the park would be a very different place without them."