The Conservation of Falco vespertinus in the Pannonian Region LIFE05 NAT/H/000122

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Period of the Project

 1 st of January 2006 – 31 st of December 2009


This project aims to reinforce the on-going efforts to strengthen the populations of Falco vespertinus , a threatened species on Annex I of the Birds Directive also identified as priority species in Hungary and Romania . These two countries hold 90% of the total European population currently, outside the countries of the former Soviet Union , which have a separated sub-population. Therefore, the conservation of the population of the Pannonian Bio-geographical Region (PBR) is crucial to the survival of the species in the European Union. The population of the species in the PBR has decreased from 2500-3200 breeding pairs in 1990 to 1250-1450 breeding pairs by 2002 and there were about 925 known breeding pairs in the project area in 2003. The sudden decline of the population in the last decade has proved that the population can be maintained only if in one hand better information is available about the reasons of decline and their complexity and in the other if it is able to compensate the losses of nesting sites. The main factors thought to be affect the population are loss and degradation of natural nest sites, degradation of feeding habitat and loss of food resources, increased mortality caused by electrocution and road kills, and possibly increased mortality on wintering grounds.

The purpose of this project is to create favourable conditions for the stabilisation in the short-term and through this achieve a steady growth of the F. vespertinus population in the PBR after the measures taken in this project take effect.

Planned activities in Western Romania

  • Elaboration of Management Plans for the protection of rook, public consultation about it ‘s draft
  • Submission of a statutory provision proposal to ban on hunting of rook during breeding season (both for the rook and red-footed falcon) within the distribution range of F. vespertinus
  • Elaboration of management plan for road-side trees facilitating F. vespertinus nesting
  • Elaboration of detailed habitat management methods for F. vespertinus habitats
  • Proposal for the modification of the National Standard Specifications of 25kV power-lines in order to minimise the risk of electrocution
  • Designing and testing insulators, locate and insulate dangerous electric pylons
  • Establishment of artificial colonies
  • Establishment of new wood patches on potential breeding habitats
  • Prevention of illegal shooting, poisoning, chick collection, disturbance and logging by increased inspections in rookeries
  • Integrated population monitoring for the red-footed falcon
  • Emphasising speed-limit signs in order to avoid frequently killing of falcons by cars
  • Organizing International conference to share and evaluate results and experiences of the project
  • Erecting information signs, production of website, posters, Layman’s report, documentary video, informing media etc.

Expected results

As a result of this project the conditions for the conservation of F. vespertinus will significantly improve in the Pannonical Biogeographical Region. It is expected that as a result of the project the F. vespertinus population will be 250 pairs in West-Romania in 2009, and will increase up to 300 pairs in 2013.