Our response to online comments about the project

As a project we’re always keen to hear from more people who are involved in capercaillie conservation, so we ask people to get in touch with us at capercaillie@cairngorms.co.uk to discuss things in more detail.

We respect the fact that people care passionately about capercaillie and some are working hard to secure a future for capercaillie. We are too. You can view our highlights report here: http://ow.ly/5Rzu50K5z0r – this is updated every three months and provides an overview of all the work we’ve done to date and what’s coming next.

We know there are several fundamental issues facing the species, not least available habitat, predator management and human disturbance. Our project is particularly focused on the latter and we work with residents and visitors in core capercaillie areas to reduce disturbance in sensitive places at specific times of year. This has never been done at scale before and the project team is made up of roles that can support that work.

On predator management, there is a lot of work being taken forward by public agencies, land managers and organisations – http://ow.ly/Ic5x50K5zi6 – but that work is not led by the project. What we’re doing, in addition to employing a full-time gamekeeper, is supporting ongoing predator control where funding isn’t available via the Forestry Grant Scheme. You can read more about our gamekeeper’s work here: http://ow.ly/W1u750K5zeC

Lastly, we want to confirm that we are not considering bringing in birds from Sweden. Low numbers of capercaillie may limit the genetic diversity of the species and, in the face of climate change, could affect the birds’ ability to adapt and survive. We are identifying the genetic diversity of the UK capercaillie population using DNA extracted from over 1,000 feathers collected in the Cairngorms, as well as feathers from a number of European countries. This will enable us to identify what, if anything, we need to do next.

We hope this information proves useful, but as mentioned, we are always happy to discuss things in more detail so please get in touch at capercaillie@cairngorms.co.uk

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