LIFE - Ostrovn lky - Conservation of birds in the SPA Ostrovn lky

LIFE12 NAT/SK/001155

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Contact details:

Contact person: Pavol SUROVEC
Fax: +421 2 55562693
Email: surovec@broz.sk

Project description:


The target species are steppe and forest steppe birds that adapt well to agricultural areas. However, these species require a mosaic of habitats including extensively used land patches. As a result of favourable agricultural conditions, the majority of meadows and pastures in the Natura 2000 site ‘Ostrovné lúky’ have been converted into cultivated arable land and traditional methods of animal husbandry have been replaced by factory farming since the 1950s. Moreover, intense agricultural practices, such as the use of chemicals, planting of monocultural fields of fast-growing crops (e.g. sunflowers or cornfields) and large-scale mowing, often applied at inappropriate times, have had a dramatic impact on bird populations over the last 60 years.

The Ostrovné lúky network is one of the three most important nesting areas of the red-footed falcon (Falco vespertinus) in Slovakia as well as an important breeding area for the tawny pipit (Anthus campestris) and lesser grey shrike (Lanius minor). The loss of numerous small-scale habitats, which were valuable feeding and nesting sites for the target species, has resulted in a dramatic decline in populations. According to recent estimates, the Ostrovné Lúky site is home to an annual average of five breeding pairs of tawny pipit, 5-10 pairs of lesser grey shrike and 4-14 pairs of red-footed falcon.


The project aims to contribute to habitat restoration for three Annex I species of the Birds Directive – the lesser grey shrike, the tawny pipit and the red-footed falcon – in ‘Ostrovné lúky’ by establishing a suitable management model for agricultural land and restoring feeding and nesting habitats. Specific objectives of the project include:

  • Restoration of feeding and nesting habitats by reintroducing traditional land management, such as grazing or haymaking;
  • Restoration of wetlands, pollard willows stands, herbaceous and flower fallows with high diversity of insects as the primary food source of all target species;
  • Restoration of nesting and perching sites;
  • Restoration of a bio-corridors network that, in addition to its primary migratory function, provides feeding and nesting opportunities for the target species;
  • Land lease or purchase with a view to creating land use patterns of feeding and nesting habitats and the introduction of appropriate management for the target species;
  • An increase of overall landscape and species diversity to support the habitat and food requirements of target species;
  • Acquisition of accurate and up-to-date scientific data on the target species and their habitats; and
  • Raising the awareness of key stakeholders and the public.
Expected results: The project expects to achieve the following results: • Creation of a database of landowners and land users in the SPA ‘Ostrovné lúky’; • The publication of studies on the restoration of meadows, pastures and a network of bio-corridors; • Acquisition of 90 ha of land for nature protection; • Creation and management of 100 ha of grasslands and 60 ha of pastures; • Creation of 17 km of bio-corridors; • Management of 500 old pollarded willow stands and planting of 500 willow tree saplings; • Creation of 50 wetlands and 50 perching sites, as well as the installation of 300 wooden perching poles, 300 bird boxes and 200 nest perches; • Creation of a database of target species, selected groups of biota and socio-economic impacts; • Creation of dissemination, information and tourism infrastructure, including a project website, printed publications, teaching materials, a film, an information trail, bird-watching towers and public awareness events.



Environmental issues addressed:


Species - Birds


endangered species‚  protected area‚  nature conservation

Target species

 Anthus campestris   Falco vespertinus   Lanius minor 

Natura 2000 sites

SPA SKCHVU019 Ostrovné lúky



Coordinator Bratislavsk regionlne ochranrske zdruenieRegional Association for Nature Conservation and Sustainable Development
Type of organisation NGO-Foundation
Description BROZ, a non-profit conservation NGO, was established in Bratislava in 1997. Active mainly in south-west Slovakia, it focuses on the enhancement and restoration of biodiversity, the promotion of regional planning and sustainable development at regional and local level, as well as environmental education.
Partners None


Project reference LIFE12 NAT/SK/001155
Duration 01-JAN-2014 to 31-MAY -2021
Total budget 2,672,353.00 €
EU contribution 1,336,176.00 €
Project location Zapadne Slovensko(Slovakia Slovensko)


Read more:

Project web site Project's website


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