LIFE Project Cover Photo

Coordinated Efforts for International Species Recovery

Reference: LIFE14 PRE/UK/000002 | Acronym: EuroSAP



Species action plans (SAPs) for non-huntable bird species and management plans (MPs) for huntable bird species have expired, while new conservation strategies need to be developed for some species that are showing sharp population declines. Furthermore, a new conservation approach that identifies and addresses groups of bird species sharing similar habitat conditions (e.g. grasslands) needs to be tested.


The EuroSAP project focuses on the delivery of new or revised SAPs for European bird species having conservation priority. The overall objective is to halt the population decline of threatened bird species listed in Annexes I and II of the Birds Directive, and to achieve a significant and measurable improvement in their conservation status. It will also produce state-of-the-art tools for European stakeholders, ready-to-use and for use well beyond the project?s duration. This will lay the foundation for better cooperation among EU Member States, international conventions and non-governmental organisations involved in international bird conservation efforts, for the effective delivery of SAPs.

The project?s other specific objectives include the implementation and update of six existing SAPs and EU management plans endorsed by the European Commission in the late 1990s and early 2000s (white-headed duck, velvet scoter, Dalmatian pelican, cinereous vulture, bearded vulture and European turtle-dove), and to develop two new plans for species of greatest urgency (Yelkouan shearwater and Monteiro?s storm petrel). The project will also develop a pilot group action plan for the European lowland grassland waders (Eurasian oystercatcher, northern lapwing, ?Baltic? dunlin, ruff, common snipe, Eurasian curlew, black-tailed godwit and common redshank), taking into account priority needs across their flyway.

Specifically the project will:

  • Undertake the most urgent update and revision of six SAPS for birds with continuous population declines and/or those in need of coordinated conservation efforts at international level;
  • Develop new action plans for two threatened bird species, in accordance with the latest IUCN Red List assessment;
  • Respond to an expressed need of the European Commission by developing, testing and applying a methodology for multi-species action plans based on commonalities in their habitat needs; and
  • Put in place a system for coordination between the main actors involved in the development and implementation of SAPs, which will also help streamline management during the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation phases of the international species action planning cycle, and lead to improved information flow, transparency and effectiveness of consultations.
  • Expected results:

  • A working web-based collaborative platform is developed and used to streamline species action plan administration, planning, monitoring and communication (SAP tracking tool);
  • The key stakeholders involved in the species recovery process are informed, introduced to and regularly use the tracking tool;
  • A coordinated list of priority species is produced and responsibilities concerning action plan development, monitoring and review are agreed among the key stakeholders and institutions;
  • The six most urgent action plan reviews and updates are completed, and a three to five year timetable for follow-up is adopted;
  • New species action plans for two threatened seabirds are developed following an improved methodology;
  • A participatory methodology for group species action plans is developed and agreed by the key organisations and stakeholders; and
  • A pilot European Flyways Group Action Plan for Eurasian lowland wet meadow breeding waders is developed, led through consultation, and submitted for adoption at EU and international level (AEWA).


    Reference: LIFE14 PRE/UK/000002
    Acronym: EuroSAP
    Start Date: 01/04/2015
    End Date: 30/09/2018
    Total Budget: 837,995 €
    EU Contribution: 500,000 €
    Project Location: Cambridge


    Coordinating Beneficiary: BirdLife
    Legal Status: NGO
    Address: 1 Wellbrook Court, Girton Road, CB3 0NA, Cambridge, United Kingdom
    Contact Person: Iván Ramirez
    Tel: +44 (0)1223 279834

    LIFE Project Map



    • Birds


    • endangered species


    • Directive 79/409 - Conservation of wild birds (02.04.1979)
    • COM(2011) 244 final ?Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020? (03.05.2011)


    Name Type
    BirdLife Coordinator
    Naturschutzbund Deutschland, Germany Participant
    RSPB, United Kingdom Participant
    Sveriges Ornitologiska Forening - BirdLife Sweden Participant
    Vereniging tot de Bescherming van Vogels, The Netherlands Participant
    Vulture Conservation Foundation, Switzerland Participant
    Hellenic Ornithological Society, Greece Participant
    Sociedade Portuguesa par o Estudo das Aves (SPEA), Portugal Participant
    Lithuanian Ornithological Society (LOD) Participant
    Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux (LPO), France Participant
    Sociedad Espanola de Ornitologia (SEO/BirdLife), Spain Participant