The Cantabrian capercaillie(Tetrao urogallus cantabricus) is considered endangered according to the Spanish Catalogue of Threatened Species(Royal Decree 139/2011), as its presence has been declining in numbers in recent years. According to FSC Spain, the main threats include population fragmentation, loss of favorable habitat, isolation of individuals, predation, competition with other herbivores or collision with unmarked power lines, as well as other causes derived from human activity.
This entity works in the conservation and improvement of the habitat of endangered species, through FSC certificate holders in the Cantabrian Mountains (areas with localized historical breeding grounds, current distribution areas and other nearby areas). In this sense, this project aims to contribute to the conservation and elimination of threats to the Cantabrian capercaillie, through forestry actions, land stewardship, monitoring of populations and through communication and awareness actions in populations and local communities in neighboring areas.
The general objective of the project has been to contribute to the conservation and restoration of the natural habitat of the Cantabrian capercaillie.
The specific objectives were as follows:
The project “FSC forest management for the conservation and improvement of the Cantabrian capercaillie habitat”, promoted by FSC Spain, has worked with communities, companies and local entities in the last forest strongholds of a bird in serious danger of extinction. Thanks to the collaboration of experts, the initiative has been able to contribute to the improvement of the conservation status of the species The main threats to the species were identified and a series of proposals for their solution and recommendations for their management were drawn up.
In this sense, replicable pilot actions have been carried out, such as the replacement of a barbed wire fence with another made of FSC certified wood, more visible and without risk of collision for the Cantabrian capercaillie, with the aim of reducing the mortality of specimens for this reason.
In addition, we have proceeded to the signing of a land stewardship agreement between the Rural Parish of Cerredo and SEO BirdLife to collaborate in the conservation of the species, which has meant the protection of 175 hectares and may also benefit other species with which the grouse shares habitat.
Finally, plantations have been planned to support the natural regeneration of oak groves to increase the ecological connectivity of habitats suitable for the species and other actions linked to FSC certification of forest management and the improvement of ecosystem services.