New Client; Cairngorms Capercaillie Project

The Evaluator is delighted to announce a new client, and will be evaluation partner on The Cairngorms Capercaillie Project.

The Cairngorms Capercaillie Project is the coming together of communities in the Cairngorms National Park to help secure the long-term future of capercaillie in the UK.

The UK capercaillie population is in serious decline, but communities across the Cairngorms National Park want to help. It’s possible that there are now less than 1,000 capercaillie left in the UK. And almost all of them live in the Cairngorms National Park. Action in the Park is therefore critical to prevent extinction in the UK.

In the past the focus has been on ecological solutions to help capercaillie, delivered ‘top-down’, by landowners and agencies. These actions have helped, but losses continue. In response, the Cairngorms Capercaillie Project is turning to communities across the Cairngorms National Park and putting local people in the driving seat to make decisions about how they can help. It’s a road less travelled and far from straight, but one considered essential to explore in these critical times.

Saving a species on the brink of extinction will always be complex, and there is no ‘one size fits all’, the project’s work with communities is therefore part of five essential actions to be delivered across the Cairngorms National Park from 2020 to 2023.

Essential actions for capercaillie

  • Help communities to create and deliver their own community-led actions for capercaillie.
  • Raise awareness of the plight of capercaillie and how people can help.
  • Research the genetic diversity of capercaillie in the National Park to help inform action.
  • Improve and create more habitat for capercaillie.
  • Strengthen current capercaillie monitoring to enable more informed decisions.

The Evaluator is delighted to be the evaluation partner in this project, helping to measure concepts like ownership and the journey of participatory and democratic conservation. You can read more about the project here  and see more about the Capercaillie itself here.