LIFE Project Cover Photo

Conservation of the European Roller (Coracias garrulus) in the Carpathian Basin

Reference: LIFE13 NAT/HU/000081 | Acronym: ROLLER LIFE+



Birds of farmland and grassland habitats have the worst conservation status in Europe. The European roller (Coracias garrulous) is one such species whose population has declined due to agricultural intensification. Abandonment and reduced management of meadows and pastures, and the conversion of grassland to other land use, has resulted in lower quality foraging habitats. European roller is a secondary-cavities nesting species that is not able to create its own nest holes, except in loess and sand cliffs. The lack of suitable nesting sites seems to be the factor most limiting the recovery of its population, based on the experiences of previous conservation actions. Public awareness of European roller is low across its breeding range, and there are no strategic management tools for its conservation.


The ROLLER LIFE+ project aims to improve habitat conditions for European roller in order to ensure its recovery. The projects specific objectives are to:

  • Create nesting opportunities for European roller in 17 Natura 2000 sites in Hungary, holding altogether 589-717 breeding pairs, and in 15 Natura 2000 sites in western Romania, holding 97-137 breeding pairs;
  • Improve nesting and feeding habitats on three characteristic roller habitat types in three project sites;
  • Demonstrate new management methods to owners and managers of key European roller habitats to promote their use;
  • Decrease the number of European rollers mortalities caused by unsafe nesting opportunities and electrocution;
  • Promote bird-friendly habitat management of Natura 2000 sites, especially the prevention of tree logging;
  • Ensure sustainable and long-term conservation management of the species by the Farmer for Rollers programme and the creation of a National Action Plan in Hungary; and
  • Increase public awareness of European roller to strengthen the conservation of the species.
  • Expected results:

  • Increase of European roller breeding population in targeted Natura 2000 sites in Hungary by over 20% during the project i.e. 707-860 breeding pairs by 2019;
  • Increase of the population in the western Romanian project area by over 20% to reach 116-164 breeding pairs by 2019;
  • 459 ha of new roller nesting and foraging habitat in different regions of Hungary;
  • Training courses for target groups concerning insulation techniques for medium-voltage pylons in Hungary, and 1 000 pylons in Romania, to reduce bird electrocutions;
  • Increase in the overall occupation rate of European roller nest boxes to 45%, with a 25% occupancy expected in the case of artificial holes in Hungary;
  • At least 18% of nest boxes occupied by rollers in western Romania;
  • Migratory stop-over sites revealed in Hungary and Romania, and actions taken to minimise mortality factors on surveyed pathways;
  • Raised public and stakeholder awareness due to a wide range of dissemination actions and the Roller Visitor Centre and education trail; and
  • Experiences of the project actions used to plan actions for the expansion of the range of species in the Carpathian basin.


    Reference: LIFE13 NAT/HU/000081
    Acronym: ROLLER LIFE+
    Start Date: 01/09/2014
    End Date: 30/09/2020
    Total Budget: 5,046,097 €
    EU Contribution: 3,784,572 €
    Project Location:


    Coordinating Beneficiary: MME BIRDLIFE HUNGARY
    Legal Status: PNC
    Address: Klt u.21., 1121, Budapest, Hungary Magyarország
    Contact Person: Zsófia NYERJÁK-SÜMEGI

    LIFE Project Map



    • Birds


    • nature conservation
    • endangered species


    • 0 - Non applicable (i.e.species project)


    • Coracias garrulus


    Type Code Name
    SCI HUHN20002 Hortobágy (DEPRECATED)
    SPA ROSPA0067 Lunca Barcăului (DEPRECATED)
    SCI ROSCI0115 Mlaştina Satchinez (DEPRECATED)
    SCI ROSCI0104 Lunca Inferioară a Crişului Repede (DEPRECATED)
    SCI ROSCI0108 Lunca Mureşului Inferior (DEPRECATED)
    SCI ROSCI0109 Lunca Timişului (DEPRECATED)
    SPA ROSPA0047 Hunedoara Timişană (DEPRECATED)
    SPA ROSPA0014 Câmpia Cermeiului (DEPRECATED)
    SPA ROSPA0015 Câmpia Crişului Alb şi Crişului Negru (DEPRECATED)
    SPA ROSPA0016 Câmpia Nirului - Valea Ierului (DEPRECATED)
    SPA ROSPA0069 Lunca Mureşului Inferior (DEPRECATED)
    SPA ROSPA0103 Valea Alceului (DEPRECATED)
    SPA ROSPA0078 Mlaştina Satchinez (DEPRECATED)
    SPA ROSPA0095 Pădurea Macedonia (DEPRECATED)
    SPA ROSPA0097 Pescăria Cefa - Pădurea Rădvani (DEPRECATED)
    SPA ROSPA0128 Lunca Timişului (DEPRECATED)
    SCI ROSCI0390 Sărăturile Diniaş (DEPRECATED)
    SPA ROSPA0126 Livezile - Dolaţ (DEPRECATED)
    SPA ROSPA0127 Lunca Bârzavei (DEPRECATED)
    SPA ROSPA0142 Teremia Mare - Tomnatic (DEPRECATED)
    SPA ROSPA0144 Uivar - Diniaş (DEPRECATED)
    SPA HUBN10002 Borsodi-sík (DEPRECATED)
    SPA HUBN10004 Hevesi-sík (DEPRECATED)
    SPA HUBN10005 Kesznyéten (DEPRECATED)
    SPA HUDI10001 Abonyi-kaszálóerdő (DEPRECATED)
    SPA HUDI10004 Jászkarajenői puszták (DEPRECATED)
    SPA HUHN10001 Szatmár-Bereg (DEPRECATED)
    SPA HUHN10002 Hortobágy (DEPRECATED)
    SPA HUHN10003 Bihar (DEPRECATED)
    SPA HUHN10005 Jászság (DEPRECATED)
    SPA HUKM10004 Hódmezővásárhely környéki és csanádi-háti puszták (DEPRECATED)
    SPA HUKN10001 Felső-kiskunsági szikes puszták és turjánvidék (DEPRECATED)
    SPA HUKN10002 Kiskunsági szikes tavak és az őrjegi turjánvidék (DEPRECATED)
    SPA HUKN10007 Alsó-Tisza-völgy (DEPRECATED)
    SPA HUKN10008 Balástya–Szatymaz környéki homokvidék (DEPRECATED)
    SPA HUKN30001 Csongrád-bokrosi Sóstó (DEPRECATED)
    SPA HUKN30002 Gátéri Fehér-tó (DEPRECATED)
    SPA HUKN30003 Izsáki Kolon-tó (DEPRECATED)
    SCI HUDI20046 Székek (DEPRECATED)
    SCI HUBN20069 Kesznyéteni Sajó-öböl (DEPRECATED)
    SCI HUBN20034 Borsodi-Mezőség (DEPRECATED)


    Name Type
    BNPD(Bükk National Park Directorate), Hungary Participant
    DALERD(Dalerd Délalföldi Forestry Close Corporation Ltd.), Hungary Participant
    MILVUS(„Milvus Group” Association), Romania Participant
    APMSM(Environmental Protection Agency of Satu Mare County), Romania Participant
    KNPD(Kiskunsági National Park Directorate), Hungary Participant