Reintroduction trials of capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus L.) in Hochsauerland

  • Published source details Spittler H. (1994) Wiedereinbürgerungsversuch mit Auerwild (Tetrao urogallus L.) im Hochsauerland. Zeitschrift für Jagdwissenschaft, 40, 185-199.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Release captive-bred individuals into the wild to restore or augment wild populations of gamebirds

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Release captive-bred individuals into the wild to restore or augment wild populations of gamebirds

    A before-and-after study in western Germany between 1980 and 1992 (Spittler 1994) reports that a western capercaillie Tetrao urogallus reintroduction programme succeeded in establishing a population of 30-40 individuals by spring 1992, with breeding recorded in 1986. Before the releases, the species had died out in the region probably by 1974. A total of 393 birds (226 males, 167 females) were released during the study period, with 200 in the last four years. A large number of released birds were predated, but some released males lived for five to seven years following release. Before release, chicks were hatched in incubators, raised in ‘post-hatch’ cages until four months old and then moved to large outdoor pens for a month before release. The authors argue that the wild population size is too small to be self-sustaining in the long-term.


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