Western Capercaillie Tetrao urogallus


Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.
Cramp, S. and Perrins, C.M. 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Cramp, S.; Perrins, C. M. 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.

IUCN Red List criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2016 Least Concern
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) 21,700,000 km2 medium
Severely fragmented? no -
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
Population size 3000000-5499999 mature individuals poor estimated 2012
Population trend decreasing - suspected -
Generation length 6.4 years - - -

Population justification: The European population is estimated at 666,000-1,060,000 calling or lekking males, which equates to 1,330,000-2,110,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms approximately 40% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 3,325,000-5,275,000 mature individuals. The population is therefore placed in the band 3,000,000-5,499,999 mature individuals.

Trend justification: The population is estimated to be declining owing to habitat destruction and alteration. Considerable range contraction has occurred in the east and west of the species's range, resulting in local extinctions (Madge and McGowan 2002). In Europe the population is estimated to be increasing (BirdLife International 2015).

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Presence Origin Resident Breeding visitor Non-breeding visitor Passage migrant
Albania extant native yes
Andorra extant native yes
Austria extant native yes
Belarus extant native yes
Bosnia and Herzegovina extant native yes
Bulgaria extant native yes
China (mainland) extant native yes
Croatia extant native yes
Czechia extant native yes
Denmark extant vagrant yes
Estonia extant native yes
Finland extant native yes
France extant native yes
Germany extant native yes
Greece extant native yes
Ireland extinct native yes
Italy extant native yes
Kazakhstan extant native yes
Latvia extant native yes
Liechtenstein extant native yes
Lithuania extant native yes
Mongolia extant native yes
Montenegro extant native yes
North Macedonia extant native yes
Norway extant native yes
Poland extant native yes
Romania extant native yes
Russia extant native yes
Russia (Asian) extant native yes
Russia (Central Asian) extant native yes
Russia (European) extant native yes
Serbia extant native yes
Slovakia extant native yes
Slovenia extant native yes
Spain extant native yes
Sweden extant native yes
Switzerland extant native yes
Ukraine extant native yes
United Kingdom extant reintroduced yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Czechia Sumava mountains (Bohemian forest)
Latvia Slitere and Zilie kalni
Latvia Teici and Pelecare bogs
Latvia Irbe valley and Dizpurvs
Sweden Lake Ånn – Storlien
Sweden Florarna
Sweden Hanveden – Hemfosa
Poland Tatra mountains
Finland Saariselkä and Koilliskaira
Finland Lemmenjoki-Hammastunturi-Pulju
France Massif des Vosges : crêtes de Schneeberg au Donon
France Massif des Vosges: Hautes Vosges
France Hautes Vallées d'Aspe et d'Ossau
France Haute Soule : massif de la Pierre-St-Martin.
France Forêts d'altitude du Jura : forêt du Risol et Mont d'Or
France Forêt d'altitude du Jura : forêt du Risoux
France Forêts d'altitude du Jura : forêt du Massacre
France Massif du Canigou-Carança
France Puig Carlit et environs
France Massif du Madres et Mont Coronat
France Parc National des Cévennes
France Vallées du Lis et de la Pique
France Haute chaîne du Jura: défilé de l'écluse, Etournel et Mont Vuache
France Haut Giffre
Czechia Beskydy mountains
Austria Ötscher-Dürrenstein
Austria Northern Kalkalpen
Austria Niedere Tauern
Germany Ammergau mountains
Germany Rhön Biosphere Reserve
Germany Wurzelbergfarmde
Germany Stromberg
Estonia Agusalu
Estonia Kikepera
Estonia Kõrvemaa
Estonia Muraka
Estonia Taarikõnnu-Kaisma
Russia (Central Asian) Bystroistokskaya
Russia (Central Asian) Dresvyanskaya
Russia (Central Asian) Flood-plain of the Tuy river
Russia (Central Asian) Poyasovy Kamen' ridge
Latvia Zabolotje bogs
Latvia Ziemelgauja
Latvia Stikli
Latvia Mangene forest
Latvia Rakupe and Pace
Russia (Central Asian) East slope of the Northern Ural
Russia (Central Asian) Bol'shoy and Maly Akh lakes
Lithuania Geledne forest
Bulgaria Western Rhodopes
Bulgaria Rila
Bulgaria Western Balkan
Bulgaria Trigrad-Mursalitsa
Bulgaria Persenk
Bulgaria Pirin
Bulgaria Dobrostan
Bulgaria Slavyanka Mountain
Italy Tarvisio forest and Giulie pre-alps
Lithuania Labanoras Regional Park
Italy Carniche pre-Alps
Italy Lagorai mountains
Italy Adamello-Brenta
Sweden Färnebofjärden
United Kingdom Craigmore Wood
United Kingdom Darnaway and Lethen Forest
United Kingdom Morangie Forest
United Kingdom Novar
Italy Stelvio National Park
Slovakia Malá Fatra
United Kingdom Kinveachy Forest
United Kingdom Loch Lomond
Sweden Sjöängen – Svartån
Kazakhstan Paradise Valley mountain plateau
Slovakia Horná Orava
Slovakia Muránska plateau and Stolické hills
Slovakia Nízke Tatry
Slovakia Poľana
Slovakia Tatry
Slovakia Veľká Fatra
Russia (Central Asian) Bol'shaya Indra lake
Russia (Central Asian) Dikoye and Epanchino lakes
Russia (Central Asian) Vizhay river
Russia (Central Asian) Istochnoye, Sredneye and Schuch'ye lakes
Russia (Central Asian) Yel'tsovskaya
Russia (Central Asian) Kondinskiye lakes
Russia (Central Asian) Watershed of the Mulym'ya and Bolshoy Tap rivers
Russia (Central Asian) East slope of the Northern Ural
Russia (Central Asian) Zapovednik "Denezhkin Kamen'"
Russia (Central Asian) Russkoye lake
Russia (Central Asian) Molebny Kamen' ridge
Russia (Central Asian) Kuznetsky Alatau Zapovednik
Russia (Central Asian) Ozersky pine forest
Russia (Central Asian) Korgonskaya
Russia (Central Asian) Kurkure mountain
Russia (Central Asian) Teletskoye lake
Germany Adelegg
Germany Northern Black Forest
Germany Bayerischer Wald National Park with Arber region and Hohem Bogen
Germany Berchtesgaden National Park
Germany Mangfall mountains and Rotwand area
Germany Harz National Park
Germany Niederlausitzer Heidegebiete
Germany Southern Black Forest
Germany Eastern Chiemgau Alps
Germany Central Black Forest
Germany Riedforst near Melsungen
Germany Upper Harz mountains
Romania Bicaz gorge and Hăşmaş Mountains
Romania Defileul Superior al Mureşului
Romania Ciuc Depression
Romania Giurgeu Depression
Romania Călimani Mountains
Romania Ceahlă Mountains
Romania Frumoasa
Romania Retezat Mountains
Romania Rodnei Mountains
Romania Vrancea Mountains
Poland Beskid Wyspowy Mountains
Poland Poprad Site
Lithuania Pertakas Ornithological Reserve
Lithuania Rudninkai forest complex
Lithuania Cepkeliai Strict Nature Reserve
Lithuania Karaviskes forest
Lithuania Dzukija National Park
Mongolia Khangain Nuruu National Park
Poland Augustów forest
Poland Lower Silesia Forests
Poland Janów forests
Poland Solska Forest
Poland Beskid Zywiecki Mountains
Poland Babia Gora Mountain
Poland Polica Mountain Range
Poland Gorce mountains
Poland Beskid Slaski Mountains
Slovenia Grintovci
Slovenia Jelovica plateau
Slovenia Julijci
Slovenia Kočevsko
Slovenia Pohorje
Spain Ancares mountains
Spain Muniellos
Spain Degaña-Hermo
Spain Babia-Somiedo
Spain Gistreo and Coto mountain ranges
Spain Central ranges of the Cantabric mountains
Spain Riaño
Spain Picos de Europa mountain range
Spain Peña Labra and Cordel mountain ranges
Spain Areta, Archuba and Zariquieta mountain ranges
Spain Belagua-Ansó-Hecho
Spain Ordesa-Bielsa
Spain Gistaín-Cotiella
Spain Posets-Maladeta
Spain Turbón-Espés-Sis
Spain San Mauricio-Bohí-Beret
Spain Boumort mountains
Spain Alt Pallars
Spain Cerdaña
Spain Cadí mountains
United Kingdom Grampian Mountains
Norway Øvre Pasvik
Norway Øvre Anárjohka
Croatia Gorski Kotar and Northern Lika
Croatia Mount Velebit
Serbia Gornji Visok and Vidlic
Serbia Mokra Gora
Serbia Prokletije
Serbia Sara mountain
Montenegro Durmitor
Montenegro Proscenske mountains
Montenegro Sinjajevina
Montenegro Prokletije
Montenegro Šekular, Cmiljevica and Mokra Mountains
Russia (Asian) Northern slope of Khamar-Daban mountains
Russia (Asian) Tunkin valley
Russia (Asian) Ol'khon area

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Forest Boreal suitable resident
Forest Temperate suitable resident
Altitude   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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Species factsheet: Tetrao urogallus. Downloaded from on 26/02/2024.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2024) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 26/02/2024.