Milvus Group implemented their roller conservation activities on 15 Special Protection Areas in Western Romania. Limited amount of data was accessible from the region about the species from the past, however the population size and the distribution was not determined. The regular, immediate occupancy of the earlier installed nestboxes confirmed that the main threat for the European roller in the area is the lack of proper nesting opportunities.
The project brought an opportunity to solve this problem: one of the most important project actions focused on the establishment a stable breeding population of roller and their population growth. More than 850 nestboxes were installed in the frame of the project actions aiming for the middle- and long-term conservation of the species. The result is a huge success: the population grew from the known 84 pairs to 217 breeding couples in 5 years.
Tree patches have been established on broad, tree-less grasslands by the plantation of more than 3000 poplar saplings in several counties. The long-term goal is to support the distribution of rollers to these new, safe areas which are rich in prey Milvus Group also offered help to the participants of the “Farmers for Roller Program” in the plantation of saplings and building the protective fences around them. Another conservation action was the insulation of 1000 medium voltage pylons around the most densely populated area by the species. To in-crease the number of safe nesting opportunities wood-concrete nest-boxes have been installed on these insulated power lines.
To prevent illegal logging monthly monitoring was carried out on sample areas where the staff elaborated a monitoring protocol. More than 1000 adult and juvenile European rollers have been tagged with colour rings besides the normal aluminium ring to earn more data about their site loyalty. This information is crucial for future conservation planning