Campaign begins to save at-risk capercaillie
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.
It is estimated that there are only just over 1,000 capercaillie left in Scotland.