Life LogoLIFE Project
"Conservation of Otis tarda in Slovakia"Logo Natura 2000

Female walking
Female walking

State Nature Conservancy of the Slovak Republic
Lazovná, 10
97401  Branská Bystrica

Project Background:

In Slovakia like in other central European countries, the Great Bustard is threatened and classified as critically endangered. To enable population recovery and to ensure long term protection of the species it is vital to implement conservation measures. One of the two project sites, Syslovske polia, is the last regular nesting site of the Great Bustard in Slovakia, and serves as a winter roosting ground for more than 10% of the central European population.
The main threats to Great Bustard population are loss of suitable habitats and impacts related to agricultural use, mortality of individuals, disturbance and insufficient public support. The negative impacts of these threats will be reversed by proposed conservation measures as proper management planning, extensive consultation with stakeholders, land purchase and lease, pilot agri-environmental scheme for Great Bustard, predator control and awareness raising.

Project Objectives:

The overall objective is to improve the conservation of the Great Bustard and its habitats in two Slovakian sites designated as Special Protection Areas (SPAs) under the Birds Directive, through a series of measures that are in line with the priority actions listed in the European Action Plan and Slovak National Action Plan for Otis tarda protection.
This will involve purchasing 150 ha of key nesting and wintering locations, and converting them into grasslands which will be regularly managed for Otis tarda together with a further 75 ha of leased land. Some 20 ha of feeding strips will be planted with oil rape and cabbage, and snow will be removed from from selected areas to ensure accessibility of food in severe winters.
Practical measures will be developed in collaboration with hunters to prevent disturbances during the breeding season and to control predators, and some 30 km of power lines will be marked and/or insulated to reduce the risks of collision and electrocution
Following intensive discussions with local farmers and teh relevant administrations, appropriate management and farming practices will be tested and implemented on a further 820 ha, with a view to establishing an effective agri-environment scheme that will ensure the longer-term conservation management in the area.
An information and logistic centre will be established for the overall management of the SPAs and for the coordination of the protection measures, and an extensive programme of communication with the local population and stakeholders is planned.

Project Partners:

SOS/BirdLife Slovensko
Raptor Protection Slovakia
Lehnice Municipality
Hunting Association Lehnice

Project Manager was:

Zuzana Guziová
Mlynské nivy 41
821 09 Bratislava
Tel./Fax: +421 2 5542 2186
Mobile: +421 917 631 031

Project Administration:

Planned Budget: 2,040,000 EURO
LIFE Contribution: 1,500,000 EURO
Year of Finance: 2005
Project Duration: 07-JAN-2005 to 31-DEC -2009
Commission Reference: LIFE05 NAT/SK/000115
LIFE Nature is a programme of the EU which supports nature protection projects in Natura 2000 areas. Natura 2000 is a network for the in-situ management and conservation of Europe's most remarkable fauna, flora and habitats.