Saving the Cantabrian Capercaillie from extinction

July 22nd, 2008 | by Lisa |

A male Capercaillie displaying

As part of the Spanish ornithological society SEO/Birdlife’s campaign, El Sonido del Bosque (Sounds of the Forests), work-camps will begin this August to improve the habitat of the Cantabrian Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus cantábricus) in the Picos de Europa National Park. Working through to mid-December while the birds are at their most inactive, they hope to help promote the growth of berry-bearing plants and, at the same time, identify the Capercaillie population within the areas where the field-work will be concentrated. The last censuses of the remaining main populations centred in Asturias and León were carried out in 2001 and 1998-2000 respectively and gave a figure of about 400 individuals in total. SEO/Birdlife give a figure of 500, which supposedly takes into account the numbers of Capercaillie in the subspecies’ other habitats of Galicia and Cantabria, a number strongly refuted by the Asturian ornithological society, the Coordinadora Ornitolóxica d’Asturies, who say the total population must now be only about half that number.

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