Major threat for the Great Bustard -Collision with power lines
Great Bustards are unfortunately very often affected by collisions with overhead power lines. This can also lead to the disappearance of sub-populations. This has already happened in Austria several decades ago, for example in the north-eastern Weinviertel (north of the Marchfeld).
Thanks to the great financial support of the EU within the framework of 3 Austrian LIFE projects for the protection of the Great Bustard, it has been possible to put more than 150 km of medium-voltage power lines under the ground and to mark more than 150 km of high-voltage power lines in Austria . This has protected many Great Bustards from collisions. Nevertheless, there is still a need for action in Austria in the marginal areas of the Great Bustards.
But much has already been achieved. For example, the Great Bustard population has more than doubled in the last 10 years and is still increasing - in contrast to all other countries with relevant Bustard populations (more than 30 individuals).
Even in Germany, after many successful years, there has been a slight decline again in the last two years.
In Europe and worldwide, the situation is dramatic. Instead of approx. 45,000 Great Bustard individuals 10 years ago, there are now only approx. 30,000 in Europe. 1 in 3 has disappeared in just 10 years. Only in Central Europe have we even managed to achieve an increase thanks to major conservation projects.
In order to stop this negative population trend in other parts of Europe in the future, we have submitted a large LIFE EUROBUSTARD project for 8 countries - from Portugal to Ukraine - with 21 project partners and numerous other cooperation partners. Let's hope that nature conservation will continue to play a role in the EU in the future.