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C.1. Actions to protect and enhance the habitat of Cantabrian capercaillie


actions aimed towards conserving and improving the Cantabrian capercaillie’s habitat.

Description: the critical situation in which the Cantabrian capercaillie population finds itself means that it is urgent to apply conservation measures to promote an increase in the species’ ideal habitat.

Among these, the following stand out:

Actions for the arboreal stratum

  • Creating and maintaining clearings to promote the growth and fruiting of bilberry shrubs, a key species for feeding the Cantabrian capercaillie.
  • Clearings to promote the development of woodland (oak and beech groves) to more mature states with a better structure for the various stages in the species’ lifecycle.
  • Releasing or promoting plant species that are beneficial to the capercaillie, fruiting trees with fleshy fruits or that maintain green foliage into the winter (such as oak or holly).
  • Enrichment plantations of species that benefit the capercaillie (holly, yew, rowan and whitebeam).
  • Improving connections to increase the woodland area and improve relations between the isolated centres of the species.

Actions for the shrubbery stratum:

  • Improving the structure of the edge of the forest through selective clearing to create the right pattern of heather and bilberry and improve the breeding habitat for the species.

This activity follows the guidelines in the technical document about conserving and improving the habitat of the Cantabrian capercaillie, as a result of preparatory action A.1.

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