The diversely structured moor landscape on the left-hand flank of the Sarnen Aa Valley is considered an optimal habitat for the capercaillie. According to the Swiss Capercaillie Action Programme, approximately half the ca-percaillie population of the central Northern Alps is to be found in Canton Obwalden. Obwalden therefore has a particular responsibility towards this species, which the Canton meets by measures on three levels: forest management (1), protected wildlife areas (2) and information and awareness raising (3). In forest reserves the forest can develop in an almost unhindered manner. The capercaillie with its dependence on varied, structured forests profits from the creation of such reserves. A differentiated procedure taking into account the habitat needs of the capercaillie permitted us to identify the forest areas in which the capercaillie would most profit from forest improvement measures. In these areas trees were felled in order to enhance the habitat value for the capercaillie and indicator plots were established to monitor the effectiveness of these measures. The funding was made available within the new Programme Agreement “Biodiversity in Forests” of Confederation and Cantons (1). The provision of wildlife protection areas is our response to increasing disturbances. The highly sensitive capercaillie is a main target species for the creation of such wildlife areas (2). These measures need to be understood and supported by the public, which is why the third focus of Canton Obwalden is placed on public relation activities (3).

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