Protection of biodiversity in forest areas, including the Natura 2000 network - Promotion of best practices



Training session in Ruszów Forest District

Training session in Ruszów Forest District

On August 29-30 in Żagań and within the Ruszów Forest District the staff of the Coordination Centre for Environmental Projects organised workshops on the protection of the Capercaille and Black Grouse. The choice of the locality was intentional – in this Forest District a project for the reintroduction of the Capercaille is being implemented and the first results have already been observed as the settled birds have bred successfully. Activities conducted in the Ruszów Forest District are currently financed from the LIFE+ Programme within the project entitled “Active protection of lowland populations of Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) in the Bory Dolnośląskie Forest and Augustowska Primeval Forest”. According to the participants this was one of the most interesting training sessions organised within the LIFE+ project entitled  „Best for Biodiversity”, co-financed by the European Union under the  LIFE+ Programe, the National Fund of Environmental Protection and Water Management and the State Forests.


The employees of State Forests constituted a majority of the participants of the workshop. Members of the Committee for the Protection of Galliformes also comprised a significant group. Moreover, present were representatives of the regional managements for environment protection, national parks, scientific institutions, students and private persons.

The first day of the workshop at Żagań was devoted to theory and was conducted by specialists in the protection of forest Galliformes: Ms Dorota Zawadzka, PhD, from the Łódź University Institute of Forest Sciences and Ms Dorota Merta, PhD, from the Cracow Pedagogical University Institute of Biology. They acquainted the participants with, among much else, the biology of the Capercaillie and Black Grouse, the dangers facing them and methods of their protection. They also discussed the most important projects implemented over the last dozen years in Poland, acknowledged in the Life+ project as best practices for the protection of the Galliformes. Janusz Kobielski, Senior Forester, talked extremely interestingly about the process of theCapercaillie reintroduction within the Ruszów Forest District.

During the workshop an interesting discussion took place between the representatives of the Committee for the Protection of Galliformes, State Forests, regional managements for environment protection, national parks and NGOs. The participants exchanged their experiences related to the protection of the Capercaillie and Black Grouse, gained in different regions of Poland. Part of the opinions presented referred to the practical aspects of settling the Capercaillie, which proved of considerable interest to the team working on the reintroduction of this species within the Ruszów Forest District. During the presentations it was emphasised that the present legislation does not ensure a successful protection of the Galliformes and their habitats. In this context optimistic was the information presented by a representative of the Wrocław State Forests, that in the Sudeten Black Grouse habitats, the forest management methods have been specially adapted to include the requirements of those birds. It was decided that the elaboration and implementation of protection plans for the Natura 2000 areas may ensure an effective protection of whole Galliformes habitats and not only the protection zones.

On day two of the workshop the participants were shown the practical aspects of the Capercaillie protection. During field visits to the Ruszów Forest District the Senior Forester Janusz Kobielski and the staff of the District presented different activities aiming at the protection of Galliformes. The participants could observe the habitat maintenance, marking of fences round forest cultivations, the adaptation aviary for settled Capercaillie. During the presentation of habitats preferred by the Capercaillie the Senior Forester informed that in this area, in the spring, hens with chicks were observed. This is a significant success of the project and confirms that the initial assumptions were correct. The participants were pleasantly surprised by a display of fire fighting in a forest (fortunately the fire was simulated) with the help of airplanes and by a light meal offered by the hosts from the Forest District.

Near the premises of the Ruszów Forest District the participants could see the equipment used within the Project for the trapping of predators, settling of the Capercaillie and monitoring their behaviour, and on the nature trail the methods of educating about the protection of Galliformes. The participants could also observe two hawks, trapped within the Capercaillie habitat, which were to be transported over a considerable distance and there released.

To find more information about Caprecaile protection in Ruszów please see link

Please view the photographs from all training session organised within the Project - here


Project “Biodiversity protection in forest area,
including Nature 2000 areas – promotion of best practice” (Best for Biodiversity),
co-financed with the means of the European Union under the Financial Instrument LIFE+ and the National Fund of Environmental Protection and Water Management and State Forest National Forest Holding”

Coordination Center for Environmental Projects,
ul. Stawki 2, piętro 20,
00-193 Warszawa
tel.: +48 22 318 70 82
fax.: +48 22 318 70 98
e-mail: centrum@ckps.lasy.gov.pl