Acid deposition :: Capercaillie

Latin name: 
Tetrao urogallus

Impact Type: Deposition of pollutant

Key Concerns:

There has been no published research on the effects of air pollution on Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) in Scotland, however, a Norwegian study found there was no evidence of long-range air pollution adversely affecting pine needles as food for Capercaillie in winter. Although their findings did show increased levels of Cd and Al, these levels are suggested to be too low to cause detrimental effects on Capercaillie. On the other hand, increased N and P concentrations and reduced antiherbivore chemicals produced naturally by the plants may be beneficial to the birds (Spidsx and Korsmo 1993). However, it is not known if the high levels of predation on eggs, chicks and adults may be a result of behavioural anomalies caused by increased pollution. Contaminant-induced behavioural aberrations in wildlife may occur below lethal exposure levels (Hoffman et al. 1990).

Additional Comments:

Change in land use/management poses the greatest threat to these birds.

Critical Load/level: 
Critical Load/ Level

No estimate available

Hoffman, D.J.; Rattner, B.A.; Hall, R.J. 1990 Wildlife toxicology Environmental Science and Technology 24 276-283
Spidsx, T.K.; Korsmo, H. 1993 Effect of acid rain on pine needles as food for capercaillie in winter Oecologia 94 565-570
Species group: 

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