International Conference in Romania for Updating the European Action Plan for The Lesser Spotted Eagle
Last Updated on Thursday, 05 December 2013 13:04 Written by Administrator Thursday, 07 November 2013 16:37
In the framework of the LIFE Project 08/NAT/RO/000501 „Conservation of Aquila Pomarina in Romania” 50 ornithologists from 15 European countries attended the International Conference for Updating the European Action Plan for The Lesser Spotted Eagle organized in Bâlea Cascadă, Făgăraș Mountains, Romania, in the period 31 Oct. – 2 Nov. 2013 by the Environmental Protection Agency in Sibiu (project coordinating beneficiary), in cooperation with its project partners Milvus Group and the Romanian Ornithological Society.
The objectives of the conference were to contribute to the updating of the European Action Plan for the species which hadn’t been reviewed since 1997 when it was produced, as well as to facilitate sharing of information among ornithologists from European countries in the distribution range of the species and networking between LIFE projects focusing on the conservation of the Lesser Spotted Eagle (LSE). The initiative was received with wide enthusiasm as shown by the participation from both EU member state countries, as well as countries outside the EU: Belorussia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Georgia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Ukraine.
Under the facilitation of dr. Umberto Gallo-Orsi, a specialist with long experience with processes of developing international action plans for bird species, the participants identified and prioritized current threats and came up with solutions. Having in mind the overall objective of “restoring species to Favourable Conservation Status” key threats identified were:
the loss of breeding habitat and the problem that forestry legislation does not take into consideration the LSE needs,
loss of grasslands, arable land suitable for the feeding combined with overall habitat simplification,
threats during migration through wind farms, shooting, poisoning or loss of roosting sites.
As an example for solutions agreed, in the breeding habitat, in order to cover both known nests and areas where the nests are not known, two key actions emerged:
Encourage change of the forestry legislation to preserve a constant percentage (ideally at least 30%) of old forests (above 80 years, 35 cm trunk diameter) on the edge of the forests suitable for the eagle as a territorial species
Extending the use of the buffer zones in all countries where the LSE breeds ( min. 100 meters radius with no action, min. 300m radius where selective cutting would be allowed limited by the rule of closed canopy).
Details about the threats and actions proposed will be available by the end of November 2013 on the project website www.pomarina.ro
Through a LIFE project networking meeting at the end of the conference, it was agreed to share the responsibility for updating the European Action Plan for the Lesser Spotted Eagle with the Slovakian LIFE Project having a similar activity included in their project for next year. An agreement was reached for a 2-step process: the LIFE Project in Romania would develop the part of the plan related to objectives, threats and actions (based on the outcomes of this conference), while the LIFE project in Slovakia would focus more on the population dynamics and monitoring issues, through a 2nd international conference dedicated to the updating of the species action plan in September 2014, by integrating also the results of the Birds in Europe III due to be published in 2014. In conclusion, through the synergy of the two LIFE projects working in close cooperation, a finalized updated plan will be forwarded to Ornis Committee, Council of Europe and MoU Raptors in fall 2014.
The International Conference in Romania ended with a field visit in SPA Piemontul Fagaras where the participants were able to visit a nesting area of an LSE pair studied in the LIFE Project both through direct observation and with the help of satellite telemetry, with 2 nests alternatively used by the pair, as well as the feeding grounds, and observe some the threats present.
Presentations held at the "International Conference in Romania for Updating the European Action Plan for The Lesser Spotted Eagle", download zipped pdfs