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"Cross-border protection of the Great Bustard in Central Europe"Logo Natura 2000


LIFE Great Bustard brochure


The four project areas.

Austria (AT) and Hungary (HU) have been very active in Great Bustard conservation in the last years. After two Austrian LIFE and LIFE+ projects and one LIFE project in Hungary now both EU-countries are implementing together a huge cross-border protection project for Great Bustards in Central Europe. Based on the great success of the former measures the objectives of this LIFE project are to continue intensive habitat management efforts, reduce the threat of collision with power lines - for many years the no. 1 mortality factor for Great Bustards - and reduce predation. The LIFE project aims to support and maximise the effectiveness of the cross-border protection in Austria and Hungary through coordination of conservation measures and optimal communication.

Actions and means involved:

Maßnahmen Grafik
Planned transfer of power lines below the soil and marking of power lines in the project areas. 

The newest results of the existing Austrian LIFE+ project “Great Bustard” show, that there are still some kilometres of power lines which should be transferred below the soil to improve the status and the quality of the habitat. For this reason 41.5 km (16.0 km in AT - 6 km in the Westlichen Weinviertel, 4 km at the Sandboden and Praterterrasse and 6 km in the Parndorfer Platte Heideboden, and 25.5 km in HU) of medium voltage power lines will be transfered below the soil with the support of the energy supplying companies concerned and monitoring of the effectiveness. With this measure the number one threat endangering fully grown Great Bustards will be eliminated in huge areas and the presently unfavourable conditions will be improved on key Great Bustard habitats and between key-sites.

A Great Bustard visitor centre will be established in Kunszentmiklós (HU1 KKU), which will host meeting, demonstrations, education and training courses. The visitor centre will be the take-off point of a selfservice study trail with a minimum 5 viewpoint giving opportunity knowing the HUKN10001 Natura 2000 Special Protected Area.

Sustainable and effective predator management will be demonstrated on 4 hunting units of the project participant NPDs covering about 25,000 hectares. The effective methods will be introduced in LIFE15 NAT/AT/000834 - B1 additional 25,000 hectares in the surrounding hunting units by the nature conservation hunters.

In AT and HU altogether 24 adult female Great Bustards will be equipped with GPS-based satellite transmitters to follow their movements and gather new information on habitat preference, metapopulation dynamics and use of peripheral habitats. Additional there will be a monitoring of the populations and their habitat use in all Project-Sub-Areas, GIS evaluation and habitat management in close cooperation with local farmers. In HU also monitoring of other species (game species and protected ground-breeding bird species) will be implemented within the project. This monitoring will also carry out the socio-economic impacts of the project.

To reduce disturbance and to promote the project and the involved Natura 2000 Special Protected Areas an active public information campaign will be implemented to ensure close contact and cooperation with Great Bustard conservation experts also in Germany, Serbia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, etc. 


Two adult male Great Bustards, one of them displaying


Overview of the Project Team (Status: 30.09.2017)

Project duration

25. July 2016 until 31. December 2023 (extended to 31. October 2024)

Project beneficiary

Österreichische Gesellschaft Großtrappenschutz

Planned project budget

8.399.265 Euro (of this 5,962,905 Euro = 70.99 % EC)

LIFE Nature and this measure have the aim to protect endangered species and habitats based on the EU Birds and Fauna-Habitat-Directive of the destination. The protected area network Natura 2000 contributes Europe helping to preserve the diversity of wild plant and animal species and their habitats.

Project partners and co-financiers

The LIFE Project LIFE15 NAT/AT/000834 is funded by the EU and the following project partners and co-financiers:

EU Life

European Union


Government of the Province Burgenland, Department 5 - investmentlaw, enviromental protection and transport (AT NAT BL)
Government of the Province Lower Austria, Department Nature Conservation (AT NAT NÖ)
Netz Burgenland Strom GmbH (AT NETZ BL)
Netz Niederösterreich GmbH (AT NETZ NÖ)
Bükk National Park Directorate (HU BNPD)


ELMŰ Hálózati Elosztó Korlátolt Felelősségű Társaság (ELMŰ Hálózati Kft.) (HU ELMÜ)
Körös-Maros National Park Directorate (HU KMNPD)
Kiskunság National Park Directorate (HU KNPD)
Hungarian Ornithological and Nature Conservation Society (BirdLife Hungary) (HU MME)
Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (AT)
Ministry of Agriculture (HU)


In cooperation with

Austrian Power Grid (APG)