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Western Capercaillie Tetrao urogallus

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2012 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern

Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency High
Land mass type   Average mass -


  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 11,300,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor Estimated 2009
Population trend Decreasing -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 6.4 - - -
Population justification: In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 0.76-1 million breeding pairs, equating to 2.28-3 million individuals (BirdLife International 2004). Europe forms 25-49% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 5-10 million individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.
Trend justification: The population is declining owing to habitat destruction and alteration. It is also potentially threatened by over-hunting, pollution (especially acid rain) and climate change (del Hoyo et al. 1994).

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Albania Native Extant Yes    
Andorra Native Extant      
Austria Native Extant      
Belarus Native Extant      
Bosnia and Herzegovina Native Extant Yes    
Bulgaria Native Extant      
China (mainland) Native Extant      
Croatia Native Extant      
Czech Republic Native Extant      
Denmark Vagrant Extant   Yes  
Estonia Native Extant      
Finland Native Extant      
France Native Extant      
Germany Native Extant Yes    
Greece Native Extant      
Ireland Native Extinct Yes    
Italy Native Extant      
Kazakhstan Native Extant Yes    
Latvia Native Extant      
Liechtenstein Native Extant      
Lithuania Native Extant      
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Native Extant      
Mongolia Native Extant      
Montenegro Native Extant Yes    
Norway Native Extant Yes    
Poland Native Extant Yes    
Romania Native Extant      
Russia (Asian) Native Extant Yes    
Russia (Central Asian) Native Extant      
Russia (European) Native Extant      
Serbia Native Extant Yes    
Slovakia Native Extant      
Slovenia Native Extant      
Spain Native Extant      
Sweden Native Extant      
Switzerland Native Extant      
Ukraine Native Extant      
United Kingdom Reintroduced Extant      

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Austria Niedere Tauern site factsheet
Austria Northern Kalkalpen site factsheet
Austria Ötscher-Dürrenstein site factsheet
Bulgaria Dobrostan site factsheet
Bulgaria Persenk site factsheet
Bulgaria Pirin site factsheet
Bulgaria Rila site factsheet
Bulgaria Slavyanka Mountain site factsheet
Bulgaria Trigrad-Mursalitsa site factsheet
Bulgaria Western Balkan site factsheet
Bulgaria Western Rhodopes site factsheet
Czech Republic Beskydy mountains site factsheet
Czech Republic Sumava mountains (Bohemian forest) site factsheet
Estonia Agusalu site factsheet
Estonia Kikepera site factsheet
Estonia Kõrvemaa site factsheet
Estonia Muraka site factsheet
Estonia Taarikõnnu-Kaisma site factsheet
Finland Lemmenjoki-Hammastunturi-Pulju site factsheet
Finland Saariselkä and Koilliskaira site factsheet
France Forêt d'altitude du Jura : forêt du Risoux site factsheet
France Forêts d'altitude du Jura : forêt du Massacre site factsheet
France Forêts d'altitude du Jura : forêt du Risol et Mont d'Or site factsheet
France Haut Giffre site factsheet
France Haute chaîne du Jura: défilé de l'écluse, Etournel et Mont Vuache site factsheet
France Haute Soule : massif de la Pierre-St-Martin. site factsheet
France Hautes Vallées d'Aspe et d'Ossau site factsheet
France Massif des Vosges : crêtes de Schneeberg au Donon site factsheet
France Massif des Vosges: Hautes Vosges site factsheet
France Massif du Canigou-Carança site factsheet
France Massif du Madres et Mont Coronat site factsheet
France Parc National des Cévennes site factsheet
France Puig Carlit et environs site factsheet
France Vallées du Lis et de la Pique site factsheet
Latvia Irbe valley and Dizpurvs site factsheet
Latvia Mangene forest site factsheet
Latvia Rakupe and Pace site factsheet
Latvia Slitere and Zilie kalni site factsheet
Latvia Stikli site factsheet
Latvia Teici and Pelecare bogs site factsheet
Latvia Zabolotje bogs site factsheet
Latvia Ziemelgauja site factsheet
Lithuania Cepkeliai Strict Nature Reserve site factsheet
Lithuania Dzukija National Park site factsheet
Lithuania Geledne forest site factsheet
Lithuania Karaviskes forest site factsheet
Lithuania Labanoras Regional Park site factsheet
Lithuania Pertakas Ornithological Reserve site factsheet
Lithuania Rudninkai forest complex site factsheet
Mongolia Khangain Nuruu National Park site factsheet
Poland Augustów forest site factsheet
Poland Babia Gora Mountain site factsheet
Poland Beskid Slaski Mountains site factsheet
Poland Beskid Wyspowy Mountains site factsheet
Poland Beskid Zywiecki Mountains site factsheet
Poland Gorce mountains site factsheet
Poland Janów forests site factsheet
Poland Lower Silesia Forests site factsheet
Poland Polica Mountain Range site factsheet
Poland Poprad Site site factsheet
Poland Solska Forest site factsheet
Poland Tatra mountains site factsheet
Romania Bicaz gorge and Hăşmaş Mountains site factsheet
Romania Călimani Mountains site factsheet
Romania Ceahlă Mountains site factsheet
Romania Ciuc Depression site factsheet
Romania Defileul Superior al Mureşului site factsheet
Romania Frumoasa site factsheet
Romania Giurgeu Depression site factsheet
Romania Retezat Mountains site factsheet
Romania Rodnei Mountains site factsheet
Romania Vrancea Mountains site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Big and Small Akh lakes site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Big Indra lake site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Bystroistokskaya site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Dikoye and Epanchino lakes site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Dresvyanskaya site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) East slope of Northern Ural site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) East slope of the Northern Ural site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Flood-plain of Tuy river site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Istochnoye, Sredneye and Schuchiye lakes site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Kondinskiye lakes site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Korgonskaya site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Kurkure mountain site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Kuznetski Alatau site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Molebny Kamen' ridge site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Ozersky pine forest site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Poyasovy Kamen' ridge site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Russkoye lake site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Teletskoye lake site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Vizhay river site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Watershed of the Mulym'ya and Bolshoy Tap rivers site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Yel'tsovskaya site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Zapovednik "Denezhkin Kamen'" site factsheet
Slovakia Horna Orava site factsheet
Slovakia Malá Fatra site factsheet
Slovakia Muránska plateau and Stolicke hills site factsheet
Slovakia Nízke Tatry site factsheet
Slovakia Polana site factsheet
Slovakia Tatry site factsheet
Slovakia Velká Fatra site factsheet
Slovenia Grintovci site factsheet
Slovenia Jelovica plateau site factsheet
Slovenia Julijci site factsheet
Slovenia Kočevsko site factsheet
Slovenia Pohorje site factsheet
Spain Alt Pallars site factsheet
Spain Ancares mountains site factsheet
Spain Areta, Archuba and Zariquieta mountain ranges site factsheet
Spain Babia-Somiedo site factsheet
Spain Belagua-Ansó-Hecho site factsheet
Spain Boumort mountains site factsheet
Spain Cadí mountains site factsheet
Spain Central ranges of the Cantabric mountains site factsheet
Spain Cerdaña site factsheet
Spain Degaña-Hermo site factsheet
Spain Gistaín-Cotiella site factsheet
Spain Gistreo and Coto mountain ranges site factsheet
Spain Muniellos site factsheet
Spain Ordesa-Bielsa site factsheet
Spain Peña Labra and Cordel mountain ranges site factsheet
Spain Picos de Europa mountain range site factsheet
Spain Posets-Maladeta site factsheet
Spain Riaño site factsheet
Spain San Mauricio-Bohí-Beret site factsheet
Spain Turbón-Espés-Sis site factsheet
Sweden Dumme mosse site factsheet
Sweden Färnebofjärden site factsheet
Sweden Florarna site factsheet
Sweden Hanveden-Hemfosa site factsheet
Sweden Muddus site factsheet
Sweden Sjöängen - Svartån site factsheet
United Kingdom Abernethy Forest site factsheet
United Kingdom Cairngorms site factsheet
United Kingdom Craigmore Wood site factsheet
United Kingdom Darnaway and Lethen Forest site factsheet
United Kingdom Glen Tanar site factsheet
United Kingdom Grampian Mountains site factsheet
United Kingdom Kinveachy Forest site factsheet
United Kingdom Loch Lomond site factsheet
United Kingdom Morangie Forest site factsheet
United Kingdom Novar site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Forest Boreal suitable resident
Forest Temperate suitable resident
Altitude 0 - 0 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Climate change & severe weather Temperature extremes Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Unknown Unknown Unknown
Reduced reproductive success


Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food (human) Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild International Non-trivial Recent
Sport Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Tetrao urogallus. Downloaded from on 23/07/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 23/07/2014.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Phasianidae (Grouse, pheasants and partridges)
Species name author Linnaeus, 1758
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 11,300,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species