The capercaillie decline is thought to be caused by a number of cumulative reasons including loss of suitable habitat or woodland management that has not favoured the species, bad weather, predation, collisions with deer fences and disturbance. With capercaillie populations at such vulnerable numbers, any factors that could impact on the breeding success of individual birds could have significant impacts for the population as a whole.
Considering the significance of the Cairngorms National Park to capercaillie, the aim of Phase 1 of the cairngorms Capercaillie Framework is to develop a
map-based framework that will help to co-ordinate management to safeguard and expand the Capercaillie population across the area.
The framework will:
Bring together existing knowledge on the state of Capercaillie across the Cairngorms National Park, the combined knowledge of the pressures they face, particularly with regard to recreation and housing development; and the suite of management measures currently being deployed, using spatial mapped data where possible;
inform future decisions about co-ordinated deployment of management measures for Capercaillie conservation;
identify what else we may need to do, where we may need further investment or resources and highlight the future agenda for management action.
Conclusions drawn and recommendations made from Phase 1 will inform the objectives of Phase 2 of this work delivering practical on the ground management. The Report from Phase 1 is available to view here. An easy to undersatnd infographic is also available here.
The Capercaillie Framework has been led by CNPA working closely with partners and is overseen by a Project Board chaired by CNPA and comprising senior staff at RSPB, FCS, SNH, SportScotland and private estate representation. Working on a more technical level, a Project Team was established for working on the data and analysis. This Team includes the Capercaillie Project Officer and Project Assistant, RSPB, FCS, SNH, GWCT and CNPA staff. The work has also been guided by advice from the Cairngorms Local Outdoor Access Forum, Cairngorms Nature Strategy Group, Capercaillie BAP Group, CNPA Board and additional input from a wide range of advisory forums.