Published in support of the UK Biodiversity Action Plan for black grouse

Causes of decline

Shooting

Black grouse is a quarry species, which can be shot from 20th August to 10th December. When black grouse were more widespread, they would regularly form part of a day's shooting, but few estates now have sufficient numbers for driven shooting. A small number are shot on walked-up days. Black grouse are sometimes shot accidentally, through mistaken identity, especially of greyhens (females).

There is also concern about 'trophy-shooting' of males from leks, which is still reported each year. Some hunters are reportedly prepared to pay £200-300 for each male. Not only is this illegal if undertaken during the close season, but disturbance may affect breeding success if shooting occurs during the spring.

What can be done?

Other factors in the decline
Agriculture
Deer
Fencing
Forestry
Predation
Weather