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ŠUMARSKI LIST 9-10/2010 str. 53     <-- 53 -->        PDF


tive cocks in theAlpine region in north Slovenia we
established avoidance of beginning of display of cocks
on the ground to higher visibility in light early morning
in later time due to predators waiting at ground (martens,
fox) before in darkness (Čas,unpublish). Interesting
and important was the surmise that behaviour and
shift of capercaillie birds out of the mating leks do not
take regard of the predators (Elliason and Wegge
2007). On the other hand predation as a cause of lek
disturbance occured very seldom on Norwegian leks.
But both males and females were taken by predators
during daytime when they were not on the lek (P.
Wegge,pers. comm. 8.Aug. 2008).

The first important parameter of lek habitats suitability
in management forest landscape are suitable structure
with above 60 to 80% of opened mature and old
forests with gaps and with sufficient share of pasture
areas (3–5%) with berries and with persistence of sufficiently
high percentage of conifers in mixed forests
(60–95%) (Storch 1999; Čas 2006).There are habitat
suitable rich field layer (above 60%) with bilberry
(Eiberle 1984;Storch1999;Bolmanetal. 2005;
Graf etal. 2007). In old forest habitats are important
persistence of liying trunks and ant hills (Čas 2006).
Comparable results were obtained for other capercaillie
habitats in Eurasia (Rolstad and Wegge 1987,
Beškarev et al. 1995; Klaus and Bergmann,
1994; Storch 1999; Saniga 2004). Since 1960ies
Slovenia experienced intensive thinning in co-natural
multipurpose forest management and intensive opening
of mountain forests with forest roads to between
1980–1990ies (Robek andKlun 2007). In that time
many leks were destroyed as a result of the cutting of
old-growth forests. It coincided with an account for a
high percentage (71.8 % in the reason responsible) of
active leks decline around year 1980. Later, the effect
of cutting decreased to 19.6% leks and the effect of
construction of forest roads from 7.7% to 4.3% leks
around in 2000.This phenomenon is confirmed by the
fact that forest road construction in Slovenia rose strongest
by 63.7% gradually between 1964 and 1989 up to

19.8m/ha (ReNGP, Ur.l. RS, 111/2007). Intensified the

forest management in mountain forests considerably

caused temporary destruction of habitat and its frag

mentation and other human disturbances impacts on
capercaillie habitat reduced (Adamič 1987, Čas
2006); and similarly is in other countries of capercaillie
distribution (Rolstad and Wegge 1987; Beškarevet
al. 1995;Storch1999;Zubić2009).

Additional negative human impacts in habitat were
caused by forest management in spring matting and
breeding time, pasturing of cattle and sheep or wildlife
and berries picking (Table 1) which negative impact on
persistence of bilberry food and breeding success were
confirmed in other studies (Baines etal. 2004; Purnat
et al. 2005). In recent times cables of pasture fences
turned out to have negative influence on
capercaillie as well (Catt etal. 1994). In addition a natural
forest development to more deciduous structures
and the habitat of mix coniferous forests shrinking due
to the climate change and temperature increase was obvious
in Slovenia (Čas andAdamič 2007;Kutnar
et al. 2009) and wider in Europe (Fanta 1992;Stutzer
2000; Marrachi et al. 2005). Overgrowing of
last pastures in mountain management forestland was
indicated as an additional cause of leks endangerment
observed in Slovenia.

The second main negative impact on the suitability
of capercaillie and also black grouse (Tetrao tetrix) habitats
in Europe were mountain tourist activities
(Storch 1999, Gulič et al. 2005; Menoni et al.
2006;Thiel etal. 2007).After an opening of mountain
forests with forest roads to the 1980ies, areas became
favourite spots for mountain tourism including
motor vehicles and snow sledges driving.This impact
on lek abundance was reflected in an increase of endangered
leks from 1980 to 2000 (+21.0 %) (Table 1). The
human disturbances on the edge of capercaillie distribution
area and habitat fragmentation in parallel to climate
changes and air pollutions impacts on habitat
changes to unsuitable structures influenced capercaillie
population in studied forests (Čas andAdamič 1995,
Storch 1999, 2007; Angelstam et al. 2004;
Pooloetal. 2008;Thieletal. 2008).

AND WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT – Zaključci i prijedlozi za
adaptaciju šumskog i lovnog gospodarenja

The sustainable dynamic of majority percentage of
mountain old-growth mix forest in areas with a modera te
road density and unaggressive and controlled mountain
tourism was important for conservation of capercaillie
habitat suitability. Predator number control (hunting of
predators) (Budiansky 1995) in the capercaillie lek
areas and the nature of coherent population density of
predators were crucial regulators of stable grouse densities
in mountain forest landscapes of Central and South-
East Europe (Storch etal. 2005; Čas2006).This analysis
showed that the assessment of the reasons for threats
to leks on the basis of the descriptions and experiences of
observers as a good indicator of the causes of risk habitats.
Results of the current situation and differences regarding
the negative impacts on habitats were an important
guideline for forest and hunting management planning,
and for a sustainable multipurpose landscape use with a
continuous presence of forest grouse species.