Results of the “2nd Synchronous Winter Count of the Great Bustard in Central Europe"
Results of the “2nd Synchronous Winter Count of the Great Bustard in Central Europe on the 17th & 18th of January 2021” within the LIFE project “Great Bustard”
(extended period 11th – 24th of January 2021)
Efforts to protect the great bustard are showing success throughout Central Europe
Please click here to see the whole repoprt.
Results of the second synchronous winter count of the Great Bustard in Central Europe on the 17th & 18th of January 2021
Results of the second synchronous winter count of the Great Bustard in Central Europe on the 17th & 18th of January 2021 (counting period 11th – 24th of January 2021) within the LIFE project “Great Bustard”: Efforts to protect the great bustard are showing success throughout Central Europe.
For many years the breeding population of the great bustard in Central Europe have been recorded by the bustard specialists in winter. In 2017 it was possible for the first time to count in all 7 countries (Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Slovakia) with potential breeding occurrences of the great bustard on the same day. 1,751 Great Bustards were recorded, whereby in the Eastern Pannonian part only 69% of the individuals could be recorded on this day, and not the otherwise usual 90 to 95%. In the years 2018 to 2020, despite several efforts, it was not possible to implement synchronous counts in all countries. The reason for this was the mostly mild winters and the resulting impassable dirt roads, which mostly prevented a census of the East Pannonian population.
In 2021, the period of the counting was therefore significantly extended in order to be able to record at least 90% of the individuals actually occurring throughout Central Europe. The census was mainly carried out on January 17th and 18th, but other results from January 11th to 24th, 2021 were also evaluated.
The results of the synchronous censuses in winter show that the population of the Great Bustard in Central Europe has increased by approx. 22% in the last 4 years (2017-2021). The strongest relative increase was in the German population, which increased by approx. 59% (from 221 to 352 individuals). The West Pannonian population has grown by approx. 34% (from 463 to 620 individuals) and the East Pannonian population has probably increased by approx. 16% in real terms, from an estimated 1,388 (on the day of counting itself only 1,067 Great Bustards could be counted) 1,553 individuals.
Fortunately, the protection efforts in almost all Central European countries with great bustard occurrences are already showing short-term success. The measures to reduce collisions on power lines as part of the LIFE project “Great Bustard” are expected to lead to a further increase in the population, especially in the medium and long term. How much the three sub-populations will actually increase depends primarily on the quality of the habitat (thus primarily on agricultural measures), but of course also on the populations of the predators e.g. red fox, raccoon dog, sea eagle and imperial eagle.
Five healthy great bustard chicks have already hatched in Dévaványa
This year's first bustard chicks hatched at the Great Bustard Conservation Station of the Körös-Maros National Park Directorate recently. Caregivers feed and walk the five flaky little chicks every day.
Great bustard eggs rescued from the first endangered nests arrived at the Station in mid-April. So far, experts have delivered ten endangered eggs from the KMNP and two from more remote areas.
Within the framework of the LIFE project entitled “Cross-border protection of Great Bustard in Central Europe”, the National Park Directorate could procure new, modern hatcheries. This year's chicks have already been hatched in these facilities. The other bustard eggs are also constantly monitored at the Conservation Station and we are confident that the number of successfully hatching chicks will soon increase further.
The young birds will then be reared on the Directorate’s 400-acre Great Bustard Conservation Area and will be gradually released according to the practice of previous decades.
Article in the NÖN Hollabrunn
On July 18th 2019 a short article about the visit of the Bustard observation tower at the Wartberger church by the regional councilor Schleritzko was published.
NÖN - Artikel (jpeg, 221 KB)
Article about the golden Jackal and the influence on the Great Bustard in Kurier
On March 20th 2019 an interesting article about the golden jackal and the influence on the Great Bustard is published in Kurier.
Kurier Article (pdf, 147 KB)
Article on the homepage of the European Commission
An article on the LIFE Great Bustard project is published on the European Commission's website.
Article about the MaGICLandscapes project in the NÖN
On August 1st 2018 an interesting article about the MaGICLandscapes project in the Waldviertel is published in the NÖN.
NÖN-Artikel (pdf, 2853 kB)
Article about the gold jackal and the threats for the Great Bustard in the Kurier
On July 23th 2018 an interesting article about the golden jackal and the threats for the Great Bustard is published.
Kurier Artikel (pdf, 88 KB)
Article about game management on protected areas in Hungary
On July 20th 2018 an article about game management on protected areas is published in the Newsletter of the Kiskunság National park. The article can be found on page 9 in hungarian.
KNPD Newsletter (pdf, 7.324 KB)
Radio Report by Miklós Lóránt on the radio station Kossuth Radio MR1
Miklós Lóránt, Great Bustard expert in Hungary gives an interview on the radio station MR1 Kossuth. The radio report can be heard below (Hungarian).