11th January 2019

Glen Tanar is blessed with a good habitat, which in conjunction with successful forest management, means the Estate is home to a variety of protected species, including the capercaillie.

Currently, we have a male capercaillie displaying and holding his ground on some of the trails. Although it is currently outwith the normal time of year for lekking activity, the behaviour currently being displayed by this bird is lekking behaviour, therefore, disturbing this bird may constitute an offence.

In view of the very low numbers of capercaillie remaining in Deeside, the aggressive behaviour of the bird and that it is an offence to disturb lekking capercaillie - temporary measures to manage access have been agreed between Glen Tanar Ranger Service, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Cairngorms National Park Authority (the Access Authority in this area).

The agreed measures include signage, social media and ranger activity to request visitors avoid the area the bird is using. These measures are varied in response to both public behaviour and the response of the bird. The Estate, SNH and CNPA are content that these carefully judged measures are proportionate and effective, and do not unreasonably interfere with public access.

The aims of these measures are:

  • to minimise the risk of human disturbance interfering with breeding behaviour,
  • to reduce the risk to the capercaillie from people/dogs defending themselves if attacked by the bird,
  • to reduce the risk of injury to a member of the public from the bird, and
  • to reduce the risk of people inadvertently committing an offence by disturbing the lekking bird.

We can understand peoples’ desire to catch a glimpse of the rare capercaillie, but it is important that this protected species be left alone.

Please help us to ensure the welfare of this bird and ensure that everyone follows all on-site signage and respects the restrictions in place.

For further information, please contact our Wildlife Manager at or the Head Ranger at

For further guidance on responsible capercaillie watching please click here.

Please note: Support for this action comes from Cairngorms National Park Authority (the Access Authority for this area) and Scottish National Heritage. Police Scotland have also been made aware.