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Cantabrian Capercaillie Protection Scheme

The Fundation collaborates in the Cantabrian capercaillie protection scheme since it began, in the year 2007. Given the scope and relevance of the project,  in June 2010 the European Union allocated LIFE+ funds to the "Urgent measures scheme for the conservation of the capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus cantabricus) and its habitat in the Cantabrian mountains”, meaning that the budget for capercaillie conservation will be doubled, reaching a total of €7,028,505, 50% of which will be provided by the European Union.

The central purpose of the LIFE+ Cantabrian capercaillie project is to halt the decline of this subspecies (which is exclusive to the North-West of the Iberian Peninsula) and promote its recovery. The measures taken in this project are intended to improve the conservation status of this bird and its habitat, promote environmental education and increase social awareness and participation.

The area of action consists of 16 Special Bird Protection Zones (ZEPA) in the Cantabrian Mountains and the project will be held between October 2010 and September 2014.

As well as from the European Union, the project has also received funding from Spain IBERDROLA Foundation. It is coordinated by the Fundación Biodiversidad and the participating partners are the Regions of Galicia and Cantabria, the Principality of Asturias, and the Castile and León region, the latter via the Fundación Patrimonio Natural de Castilla y León (Castile and León Natural Heritage Foundation); the Organismo Autónomo Parques Nacionales (Autonomous Agency for Spanish National Parks) and SEO/BirdLife.











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Life Project. Natura 2000
Cantabrian Capercaillie. Author Carlos Sánchez
Capercaillie Female. Author Siegi Klaus
Cantabrian Capercaillie. Author Carlos Sánchez
Presentation of Life project in Ministry of Environment

Video: “Sound of the Forest” Project


Video voice translation: The Cantabrian capercaillie, that lives solely in the Cantabrian Range, is the most scarce and endangered species in the world. It inhabits the best conserved rainy forests of Asturias, Leon and Cantabria, an ecosystem with an extraordinary diversity. Although a protected bird, it is in an extremely delicate situation: it is in danger of extinction and its population is estimated at just 500 remaining adult individuals.

Habitat loss, lack of food and human disturbances are the main threats it faces. SEO/BirdLife, in cooperation with private and public bodies, has been working for years to improve its populations by involving hunters, farmers, forest management officials, mountain climbers, representatives of the public administration and citizens. We have been striving to conserve the Atlantic forests in inhabits and proposing the best management measures for its habitat.

"The Sound of the Forest" is the new campaign that SEO/BirdLife has launched so that, with everybody’s support, the mating song of capercaillies keeps echoing every spring in the Cantabrian forests.