Several research projects significantly contributed to the reputation of Western Capercaillie Tetrao urogallus as flagship of conservation goals in mountain forest ecosystems. In this article, we summarise, synthesise and evaluate the major findings of the projects presented in this journal's issue. All publications concern Capercaillie studies conducted in Switzerland during the last decade. We concentrate on the results that are particularly important for the conservation of the species and influence conceptual decisions of a Capercaillie action plan. Based on our results, we recommend to plan conservation at the large scale and to consider (i) the ecological potential of a landscape as Capercaillie habitat, (ii) the recent distribution of local populations, (iii) the forest stand mosaic of each habitat patch, and (iv) the limiting factors of each regional population for the development and implementation of a national action plan. Conservation measures should aim to increase the carrying capacity of suitable habitat, support a population network and the exchange of individuals among populations, and reduce the impact of human disturbance. Thus, conceptual decisions need to be taken at the large, national scale whereas concrete measures should consider regional peculiarities.