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LIFE Great Bustard - Cross-border protection of the Great Bustard in Central Europe

LIFE15 NAT/AT/000834


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Contact details:

Contact person: Werner Falb-Meixner
Tel: 436645216888
Email: werner.falb-meixner@grosstrappe.at



Project description:

Background

Austria and Hungary have undertaken efforts to protect and enlarge the habitat of great bustards, a bird species listed in Annex I of the Birds Directive. They have focused on active habitat management and on the maintenance of large areas dedicated to non-intensive farming. But the problem of overhead power lines remains great, causing fatal collisions – the main cause of bustard mortality in Austria – and jeopardising conservation measures. The Austrian LIFE great bustard project (LIFE05 NAT/A/000077) was set up to tackle this threat, but despite its success, several kilometres of power lines, which should be placed underground, still pose a danger to the species.


Objectives

The objectives of the LIFE Great Bustard project are to reduce the threat of collision with power lines, to continue intensive habitat management efforts and to reduce predation. Specific project aims are to:

  • Support and maximise the effectiveness of the cross-border protection in Austria and Hungary through the coordination of conservation measures and optimal communication;
  • Increase publicity about the bustards, through short films and media coverage to spread knowledge of the special value of the traditional, cultivated landscape; and
  • Highlight the necessity of an integrated approach to nature conservation in the targeted Natura 2000 sites.
  • Expected results:

  • Transfer below ground of 16 km in Austria and 25.5 km in Hungary of medium voltage power lines, with the support of the energy supplying companies concerned and monitoring of the effectiveness;
  • In Austria: the sub-population of great bustards in the ‘Westliches Weinviertel’ area will increase from 54-56 individuals in the breeding period 2014 to at least 75 individuals in autumn 2023; the sub-population in the ‘Sandboden-Praterterasse’ area will increase from 5-7 in the breeding period 2014 to at least 15 individuals in autumn 2023; the sub-population in ‘Parndorfer Platte-Heideboden’ will increase from 202-285 individuals in the breeding period 2014 to at least 350-400 individuals in autumn 2023; and the sub-population in the Hansag area will increase from 14-16 individuals in the breeding period 2014 to at least 30 individuals in autumn 2023;
  • In Hungary: the sub-population of great bustards in the ‘Kiskunsági’ project site will increase from 410 individuals in spring 2014 to at least 500 individuals in autumn 2023; the sub-population in ‘Borsodi-sík‘ will increase from 13 individuals in spring 2014 to at least 15 individuals in autumn 2023; the sub-population in ‘Hevesi-sík’ will increase from 11 individuals in spring 2014 to at least 15 individuals in autumn 2023; the sub-population in ‘Dévaványai-sík‘ will rise from 425 individuals in spring 2012 to at least 475 individuals in autumn 2023; and the sub-population in the ‘Vásárhelyi- és Csanádi-puszták’ area will increase from 32 individuals in the spring 2014 to at least 36 individuals in autumn 2023;
  • Establishment of a great bustard visitor centre in Kunszentmiklós (Hungary); and
  • 24 adult female great bustards fixed with GPS transmitters to monitor their movements and gather new information on habitat preference, population dynamics and the use of peripheral habitats.


Results


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Environmental issues addressed:

Themes

Species - Birds


Keywords

endangered species‚  environmental impact of energy


Target EU Legislation

  • Nature protection and Biodiversity
  • Directive 2009/147 - Conservation of wild birds - Birds Directive (codified version of Directive ...

Target species

 Otis tarda     


Natura 2000 sites

SPA AT1209000 Westliches Weinviertel
SCI AT1213000 Pannonische Sanddünen
SCI AT1209A00 Westliches Weinviertel
SPA AT1125129 Parndorfer Platte - Heideboden
SPA AT1213V00 Sandboden und Praterterrasse
SPA HUBN10002 Borsodi-sík
SPA HUBN10004 Hevesi-sík
SPA HUKM10003 Dévaványai-sík
SPA HUKM10004 Hódmezővásárhely környéki és csanádi-háti puszták
SPA HUKN10001 Felső-kiskunsági szikes puszták és turjánvidék
SCI HUBN20034 Borsodi-Mezőség
SPA AT1126129 Waasen - Hanság


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Beneficiaries:

Coordinator Österreichische Gesellschaft Großtrappenschutz
Type of organisation NGO-Foundation
Description Founded in 2004, Österreichische Gesellschaft Großtrappenschutz is a non-profit foundation that aims to improve efficiency in the protection of great bustards (Otis tarda) in Austria. The foundation has many years of experience of implementing conservation measures for this bird species. It carried out an earlier LIFE great bustard project (LIFE05 NAT/A/000077). Cross-border cooperation and exchange of experiences with bustard conservation experts and organisations in other European countries have intensified in recent years.
Partners ELMŰ Hálózati Elosztó Korlátolt Felelősségű Társaság (ELMŰ Hálózati Kft.), Hungary Bükk National Park Directorate, Hungary Kiskunság National Park Directorate, Hungary Amt der Burgenländischen Landesregierung - Abteilung 5 - Anlagenrecht, Umweltschutz und Verkehr, Austria Netz Niederösterreich GmbH, Austria Netz Burgenland Strom GmbH, Austria Körös-Maros National Park Directorate, Hungary Amt der Niederösterreichischen Landesregierung - Abteilung Naturschutz, Austria Hungarian Ornithological and Nature Conservation Society (BirdLife Hungary), Hungary

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Project reference LIFE15 NAT/AT/000834
Duration 11-JUL-2016 to 31-DEC -2023
Total budget 8,399,265.00 €
EU contribution 5,962,905.00 €
Project location Burgenland(Österreich) Niederösterreich(Österreich) Kozep-Magyarorszag(Hungary Magyarország) Del-Dunantul(Hungary Magyarország) Eszak-Magyarorszag(Hungary Magyarország) Eszak-Alfold(Hungary Magyarország)

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Read more:

Project web site Project's website
Video link "Great Bustard Clip" [EN-DE - 3'46]

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Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version