LIFE Project Cover Photo

Cross-border protection of the Great Bustard in Central Europe

Reference: LIFE15 NAT/AT/000834 | Acronym: LIFE Great Bustard

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

BACKGROUND

Austria and Hungary have undertaken efforts to protect and enlarge the habitat of great bustards, a bird species listed in Annex I of the Birds Directive. They have focused on active habitat management and on the maintenance of large areas dedicated to non-intensive farming. But the problem of overhead power lines remains great, causing fatal collisions – the main cause of bustard mortality in Austria – and jeopardising conservation measures. The Austrian LIFE great bustard project (LIFE05 NAT/A/000077) was set up to tackle this threat, but despite its success, several kilometres of power lines, which should be placed underground, still pose a danger to the species.


OBJECTIVES

The objectives of the LIFE Great Bustard project are to reduce the threat of collision with power lines, to continue intensive habitat management efforts and to reduce predation. Specific project aims are to:

  • Support and maximise the effectiveness of the cross-border protection in Austria and Hungary through the coordination of conservation measures and optimal communication;
  • Increase publicity about the bustards, through short films and media coverage to spread knowledge of the special value of the traditional, cultivated landscape; and
  • Highlight the necessity of an integrated approach to nature conservation in the targeted Natura 2000 sites.
  • Expected results:

  • Transfer below ground of 16 km in Austria and 25.5 km in Hungary of medium voltage power lines, with the support of the energy supplying companies concerned and monitoring of the effectiveness;
  • In Austria: the sub-population of great bustards in the ‘Westliches Weinviertel’ area will increase from 54-56 individuals in the breeding period 2014 to at least 75 individuals in autumn 2023; the sub-population in the ‘Sandboden-Praterterasse’ area will increase from 5-7 in the breeding period 2014 to at least 15 individuals in autumn 2023; the sub-population in ‘Parndorfer Platte-Heideboden’ will increase from 202-285 individuals in the breeding period 2014 to at least 350-400 individuals in autumn 2023; and the sub-population in the Hansag area will increase from 14-16 individuals in the breeding period 2014 to at least 30 individuals in autumn 2023;
  • In Hungary: the sub-population of great bustards in the ‘Kiskunsági’ project site will increase from 410 individuals in spring 2014 to at least 500 individuals in autumn 2023; the sub-population in ‘Borsodi-sík‘ will increase from 13 individuals in spring 2014 to at least 15 individuals in autumn 2023; the sub-population in ‘Hevesi-sík’ will increase from 11 individuals in spring 2014 to at least 15 individuals in autumn 2023; the sub-population in ‘Dévaványai-sík‘ will rise from 425 individuals in spring 2012 to at least 475 individuals in autumn 2023; and the sub-population in the ‘Vásárhelyi- és Csanádi-puszták’ area will increase from 32 individuals in the spring 2014 to at least 36 individuals in autumn 2023;
  • Establishment of a great bustard visitor centre in Kunszentmiklós (Hungary); and
  • 24 adult female great bustards fixed with GPS transmitters to monitor their movements and gather new information on habitat preference, population dynamics and the use of peripheral habitats.

  • ADMINISTRATIVE DATA


    Reference: LIFE15 NAT/AT/000834
    Acronym: LIFE Great Bustard
    Start Date: 11/07/2016
    End Date: 31/12/2023
    Total Budget: 8,399,265 €
    EU Contribution: 5,962,905 €
    Project Location:

    CONTACT DETAILS


    Coordinating Beneficiary: sterreichische Gesellschaft Grotrappenschutz
    Legal Status: PAT
    Address: Untere Hauptstrae 13, 2424, Zurndorf, Österreich
    Contact Person: Werner Falb-Meixner
    Email: werner.falb-meixner@grosstrappe.at
    Tel: 436645216888
    Website: http://www.grosstrappe.at


    LIFE Project Map

    ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ADDRESSED

    THEMES

    • Birds

    KEYWORDS

    • environmental impact of energy
    • endangered species

    TARGET EU LEGISLATION

    • Directive 2009/147 - Conservation of wild birds - Birds Directive (codified version of Directive 79/409/EEC as amended) (30.11.2009)

    TARGET HABITAT TYPES

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

    SPECIES

    • Otis tarda

    NATURA 2000 SITES

    Type Code Name
    SPA AT1209000 Westliches Weinviertel (DEPRECATED)
    SPA AT1213000 Pannonische Sanddünen (DEPRECATED)
    SCI AT1209A00 Westliches Weinviertel (DEPRECATED)
    SPA AT1125129 Parndorfer Platte - Heideboden (DEPRECATED)
    SPA AT1213V00 Sandboden und Praterterrasse (DEPRECATED)
    SPA HUBN10002 Borsodi-sík (DEPRECATED)
    SPA HUBN10004 Hevesi-sík (DEPRECATED)
    SPA HUKM10003 Dévaványai-sík (DEPRECATED)
    SPA HUKM10004 Hódmezővásárhely környéki és csanádi-háti puszták (DEPRECATED)
    SPA HUKN10001 Felső-kiskunsági szikes puszták és turjánvidék (DEPRECATED)
    SCI HUBN20034 Borsodi-Mezőség (DEPRECATED)
    SPA AT1126129 Waasen - Hanság (DEPRECATED)

    BENEFICIARIES

    Name Type
    sterreichische Gesellschaft Grotrappenschutz Coordinator
    Kiskunság National Park Directorate, Hungary Participant
    Hungarian Ornithological and Nature Conservation Society (BirdLife Hungary), Hungary Participant
    ELMŰ Hálózati Elosztó Korlátolt Felelősségű Társaság (ELMŰ Hálózati Kft.), Hungary Participant
    Körös-Maros National Park Directorate, Hungary Participant
    Amt der Burgenländischen Landesregierung - Abteilung 5 - Anlagenrecht, Umweltschutz und Verkehr, Austria Participant
    Netz Niederösterreich GmbH, Austria Participant
    Netz Burgenland Strom GmbH, Austria Participant
    Amt der Niederösterreichischen Landesregierung - Abteilung Naturschutz, Austria Participant
    Bükk National Park Directorate, Hungary Participant