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Great Bustard
Otis tarda

Map of the common names

Europe's heaviest bird, can weigh up to 15 kg, has also a great size (L 100 cm). Very shy. Male has long throat whiskeries and the brown-red breast-band develop sucessively with age. Its original habitat is the steppe. Nowadays, Great Bustards inhabit extensive treeless plains with a predominance of cereal crops and preferably far away from settlements and roads. Birds feed maily on insects. Resident.

Watercolour by Serge Nicolle

Reasons for the need for protection/inclusion in annex I
There have been declines in breeding populations, even extinctions in some regions within EU. The major threat for the species is the loss and decrease of quality of it natural habitat due to urban development and agricultural intensification: changes in crooping patterns, irrigation schemes, increased application of pesticides, etc. A further cause of Great Bustard decline is shooting and collision with powerlines.

Distribution map

yellow = summer visitor
green = resident
blue = winter visitor

Population :
less than 15,000 birds

Drawing by Manuel Manolos

back to list of threatened species