The capercaillie (which means ‘horse of the wood’ in Gaelic) has experienced a stabilisation in numbers following near extinction at the millennium when the population dropped to about 1000.

The bird is a forest living member of the grouse family whose numbers dropped from a peak of 20,000 in the 1970s owing to loss of habitat and climate change. The bird is confined to central and north-eastern Scotland.

The three Scottish sites with best breeding success were in Strathspey and managed by Forestry Commission Scotland, RSPB and Rothiemurchus Estate under the auspices of the European Commission funded LIFE Project.

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