Cam­paign be­gins to save at-risk ca­per­cail­lie

The Oban Times - - Outdoors -

A NA­TIONAL sur­vey has re­vealed that the world’s largest grouse, the ca­per­cail­lie, is now one of Scot­land’s most en­dan­gered birds.

It is es­ti­mated that there are only 1,114 in­di­vid­u­als left. The pop­u­la­tion is as­sessed every six years by RSPB Scot­land and Scot­tish Nat­u­ral Her­itage.

In or­der to com­bat the de­cline, the Cairn­gorms Na­ture Part­ner­ship has de­vised a plan to help the pop­u­la­tion thrive - the Cairn­gorms Ca­per­cail­lie Project.

The aim is to cre­ate and man­age con­ser­va­tion, with the help of com­mu­ni­ties, that will sup­port the ca­per­cal­lie in the long term, as well as other species liv­ing in pine woods.

Andy Ford, Cairn­gorms Na­ture man­ager, said: ‘Peo­ple are key to se­cur­ing the fu­ture of the ca­per­cail­lie in the na­tional park.

‘ We want to em­power peo­ple to be in­spired and to get in­volved. The project im­ple­ments the Cairn­gorms Ca­per­cail­lie Frame­work, a blue­print for a strate­gic ap­proach to sav­ing the ca­per­cail­lie from be­com­ing ex­tinct in the UK through tar­get­ing fu­ture man­age­ment at a land­scape scale.

‘ We hope to de­velop a pro­gramme of con­ser­va­tion action to sup­port the long-term sur­vival of the species and pro­vide a model to save at risk species in na­tional parks around the world.’

Ca­per­cail­lie are found in ma­ture pine wood­lands in parts of the High­lands, Mo­ray, Aberdeenshire and Perthshire, but Strath­spey holds around 83 per cent of the re­main­ing pop­u­la­tion.

Pic­ture: Dave Brad­dock

It is es­ti­mated that there are only just over 1,000 ca­per­cail­lie left in Scot­land.

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