LIFE Project Cover Photo

Conservation of the eastern imperial eagle by decreasing human-caused mortality in the Pannonian Region

Reference: LIFE15 NAT/HU/000902 | Acronym: PannonEagle Life



Thanks to conservation efforts started in the 1980s, the Hungarian population of the eastern imperial eagle has come back from the brink of extinction, reaching 160 pairs by 2014. The Pannonian biogeographical region (which includes all of Hungary and parts of Slovakia, Romania, Czech Republic, Croatia, Serbia and Ukraine) now holds some 220 pairs of this priority raptor species (Annex 1 of the EU Birds Directive). However, this small population is still vulnerable. Predator persecution, especially from illegal poisoning, is the main threat for the eastern imperial eagle in the Pannonian biogeographical region, representing more than 30% of known mortality causes. Persecution also affects other protected raptor species, including another Annex I-listed bird, the saker falcon. Combating illegal bird poisoning is in line with the anti-poison policy of the Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats.


The main objective of the PannonEagle Life project is to increase the population of the eastern imperial eagle in the Pannonian biogeographical region through a significant decrease in deaths from non-natural causes, i.e. primarily by persecution incidents.

Specific objectives are to:

  • Increase the chance of detecting illegal activities and of successful prosecutions;
  • Increase understanding of the true, minimal impact of raptors on game species and encourage raptor-friendly game management methods; and
  • Increase public awareness of the conservation importance of the eastern imperial eagle and of the possible consequences of persecution.

    Expected results: The project expects to achieve the following results:

  • An increase of more than 10% in the breeding population of the eastern imperial eagle in the Pannonian region (to more than 250 breeding pairs). This would result in a 9% increase in the EU population;
  • A breeding rate of over 1.0 fledglings per breeding pair during the project;
  • A reduction in the number of eastern imperial eagle and saker falcon deaths caused by persecution to fewer than five per year. The annual mortality rate of the eastern imperial eagle is expected to be less than 12% by the end of the project;
  • Rehabilitation of more than 30% of eastern imperial eagles and saker falcons injured in persecution incidents;
  • More than 500 stakeholders from target groups to visit the eagle rehabilitation centre;
  • At least three successful convictions of individuals prosecuted for illegal killing of the target raptor species; and
  • More than 1 000 media reports about the project, reaching an audience of over 10 million, with more than 1 million visitors to the project’s website and social media channels.


    Reference: LIFE15 NAT/HU/000902
    Acronym: PannonEagle Life
    Start Date: 01/10/2016
    End Date: 31/01/2023
    Total Eligible Budget: 3,583,577 €
    EU Contribution: 2,682,771 €
    Project Location:


    Coordinating Beneficiary: MME BirdLife Hungary
    Legal Status: PNC
    Address: Kolto u. 21., H-1121, Budapest, Hungary Magyarország
    Contact Person: Marton ARVAY
    Email: Send Email
    Website: Visit Website

    LIFE Project Map



    • Birds


    • environmental awareness
    • endangered species


    • Directive 92/43 - Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora- Habitats Directive (21.05.1992)
    • Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (01.06.1982)
    • COM(2013) 169 final - 2030 Framework A 2030 framework for climate and energy policies (27.03.2013)


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


    • Falco cherrug
    • Aquila heliaca


    • ACCIPITRIDAE Aquila heliaca
    • FALCONIDAE Falco cherrug


    Type Code Name
    SPA AT1202000 March-Thaya-Auen
    SPA AT1209000 Westliches Weinviertel
    SCI AT1209A00 Westliches Weinviertel
    SPA AT1125129 Parndorfer Platte - Heideboden
    SPA AT1213V00 Sandboden und Praterterrasse
    SPA SKCHVU009 Kosicka kotlina
    SPA SKCHVU014 Male Karpaty
    SPA SKCHVU016 Zahorske Pomoravie
    SPA SKCHVU023 Ulanska mokrad
    SPA SKCHVU027 Slovensky kras
    SPA SKCHVU031 Tribec
    SPA SKCHVU037 Ondavska rovina
    SPA CZ0621027 Soutok - Tvrdonicko
    SPA HUHN10005 Jászság
    SPA HUKN10001 Felső-kiskunsági szikes puszták és turjánvidék
    SPA HUKN10002 Kiskunsági szikes tavak és az őrjegi turjánvidék
    SPA HUKN10004 Alpár-bokrosi tisza-ártéri öblözet
    SPA HUKN10007 Alsó-Tisza-völgy
    SPA SKCHVU025 Slanske vrchy
    SPA SKCHVU054 Spacinsko-niznianske polia
    SCI HUHN20076 Borsóhalmi-legelő
    SPA AT1126129 Waasen - Hanság
    SPA AT1202V00 March-Thaya-Auen


    Name Type
    MME BirdLife Hungary Coordinator
    Umweltverband WWF Österreich / WWF Austria, Austria Participant
    BirdLife Österreich, Austria Participant
    Ministerstvo životního prostředí (Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic), Czech Republic Participant
    Česká společnost ornitologická, Czech Republic Participant
    Bird Protection and Study Society of Serbia (Društvo za zaštitu i proučavanje ptic abSrbije), Serbia Participant
    Kiskunság National Park Directorate, Hungary Participant
    Raptor Protection of Slovakia, Slovakia Participant
    Vychodoslovenska distribucna a.s., Slovakia Participant
    Institute for Nature Conservation of Vojvodina Province, Serbia Participant
    Hortobágy National Park Directorate, Hungary Participant