France, April 22 -- Environmental groups in France have filed a court challenge against plans to reintroduce the threatened western capercaillie, a type of wood grouse,to the Vosges mountains. The bird is emblematic of the region but has been all but wiped out because of climate change and growing tourism.

Five NGOs said they had lodged an appeal against the government's repopulation project, arguing that the underlying issuesthat first caused the bird's disappearance remain unchanged.

Of particular concern were ongoing plans to develop tourism, local ecosystem challenges and a failure to manage game animals that eat the capercaillies' natural food sources, such as blueberries.

"While we'reobviously not opposed tobringing back the cape...