ROLLER LIFE+ - Conservation of the European Roller (Coracias garrulus) in the Carpathian Basin

LIFE13 NAT/HU/000081

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Béla TOKODY
Email: roller@mme.hu

Project description:


Birds of farmland and grassland habitats have the worst conservation status in Europe. The European roller (Coracias garrulous) is one such species whose population has declined due to agricultural intensification. Abandonment and reduced management of meadows and pastures, and the conversion of grassland to other land use, has resulted in lower quality foraging habitats. European roller is a secondary-cavities nesting species that is not able to create its own nest holes, except in loess and sand cliffs. The lack of suitable nesting sites seems to be the factor most limiting the recovery of its population, based on the experiences of previous conservation actions. Public awareness of European roller is low across its breeding range, and there are no strategic management tools for its conservation.


The ROLLER LIFE+ project aims to improve habitat conditions for European roller in order to ensure its recovery. The project’s specific objectives are to:

  • Create nesting opportunities for European roller in 17 Natura 2000 sites in Hungary, holding altogether 589-717 breeding pairs, and in 15 Natura 2000 sites in western Romania, holding 97-137 breeding pairs;
  • Improve nesting and feeding habitats on three characteristic roller habitat types in three project sites;
  • Demonstrate new management methods to owners and managers of key European roller habitats to promote their use;
  • Decrease the number of European rollers mortalities caused by unsafe nesting opportunities and electrocution;
  • Promote bird-friendly habitat management of Natura 2000 sites, especially the prevention of tree logging;
  • Ensure sustainable and long-term conservation management of the species by the ‘Farmer for Rollers’ programme and the creation of a National Action Plan in Hungary; and
  • Increase public awareness of European roller to strengthen the conservation of the species.
  • Expected results:

  • Increase of European roller breeding population in targeted Natura 2000 sites in Hungary by over 20% during the project – i.e. 707-860 breeding pairs by 2019;
  • Increase of the population in the western Romanian project area by over 20% to reach 116-164 breeding pairs by 2019;
  • 459 ha of new roller nesting and foraging habitat in different regions of Hungary;
  • Training courses for target groups concerning insulation techniques for medium-voltage pylons in Hungary, and 1 000 pylons in Romania, to reduce bird electrocutions;
  • Increase in the overall occupation rate of European roller nest boxes to 45%, with a 25% occupancy expected in the case of artificial holes in Hungary;
  • At least 18% of nest boxes occupied by rollers in western Romania;
  • Migratory stop-over sites revealed in Hungary and Romania, and actions taken to minimise mortality factors on surveyed pathways;
  • Raised public and stakeholder awareness due to a wide range of dissemination actions and the Roller Visitor Centre and education trail; and
  • Experiences of the project actions used to plan actions for the expansion of the range of species in the Carpathian basin.



Environmental issues addressed:


Species - Birds


endangered species‚  nature conservation

Target species

 Coracias garrulus     

Natura 2000 sites

SPA HUBN10002 Borsodi-sík
SPA HUBN10004 Hevesi-sík
SPA HUBN10005 Kesznyéten
SPA HUDI10001 Abonyi-kaszálóerdő
SPA HUDI10004 Jászkarajenői puszták
SPA HUHN10001 Szatmár-Bereg
SPA HUHN10002 Hortobágy
SPA HUHN10003 Bihar
SPA HUHN10005 Jászság
SPA HUKM10004 Hódmezővásárhely környéki és csanádi-háti puszták
SPA HUKN10001 Felső-kiskunsági szikes puszták és turjánvidék
SPA HUKN10002 Kiskunsági szikes tavak és az őrjegi turjánvidék
SPA HUKN10007 Alsó-Tisza-völgy
SPA HUKN10008 Balástya–Szatymaz környéki homokvidék
SCI HUKN30001 Csongrád-bokrosi Sóstó
SCI HUKN30002 Gátéri Fehér-tó
SCI HUKN30003 Izsáki Kolon-tó
SCI HUBN20034 Borsodi-Mezőség
SCI HUBN20069 Kesznyéteni Sajó-öböl
SCI HUDI20046 Székek
SCI HUHN20002 Hortobágy
SPA ROSPA0067 Lunca Barcăului
SCI ROSCI0104 Lunca Inferioară a Crişului Repede
SCI ROSCI0108 Lunca Mureşului Inferior
SCI ROSCI0109 Lunca Timişului
SCI ROSCI0115 Mlaştina Satchinez
SPA ROSPA0014 Câmpia Cermeiului
SPA ROSPA0015 Câmpia Crişului Alb şi Crişului Negru
SPA ROSPA0016 Câmpia Nirului - Valea Ierului
SPA ROSPA0047 Hunedoara Timişană
SPA ROSPA0069 Lunca Mureşului Inferior
SPA ROSPA0078 Mlaştina Satchinez
SPA ROSPA0095 Pădurea Macedonia
SPA ROSPA0097 Pescăria Cefa - Pădurea Rădvani
SPA ROSPA0103 Valea Alceului
SCI ROSCI0390 Sărăturile Diniaş
SPA ROSPA0126 Livezile - Dolaţ
SPA ROSPA0127 Lunca Bârzavei
SPA ROSPA0128 Lunca Timişului
SPA ROSPA0142 Teremia Mare - Tomnatic
SPA ROSPA0144 Uivar - Diniaş



Type of organisation NGO-Foundation
Description Formed in 1974, MME (Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület/Hungarian Ornithological and Nature Conservation Society) is a member of BirdLife International. It aims to protect birds and their natural habitats, as well as promote nature conservation among the general public. MME also lobbies for nature conservation by cooperating with governmental and local authorities.
Partners MILVUS(„Milvus Group” Association), Romania KNPD(Kiskunsági National Park Directorate), Hungary BNPD(Bükk National Park Directorate), Hungary APMSM(Environmental Protection Agency of Satu Mare County), Romania DALERD(Dalerd Délalföldi Forestry Close Corporation Ltd.), Hungary


Project reference LIFE13 NAT/HU/000081
Duration 01-SEP-2014 to 30-SEP -2020
Total budget 5,046,097.00 €
EU contribution 3,784,572.00 €
Project location Kozep-Magyarorszag(Hungary Magyarország) Eszak-Magyarorszag(Hungary Magyarország) Del-Alfold(Hungary Magyarország) Nord-Vest(Romania) Vest(Romania)


Read more:

Poster "Conservation of the European roller" (713 KB)
Project web site Project's website
Project web site - 2 Project's Facebook page
Publication: Guidelines-Manual "Conservation of the European Roller : A guide to ...


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