Scientific Journal of the BirdLife Hungary

A Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület tudományos folyóirata

Ornis Hungarica. vol.19. (2011) p.133-140.

Nature conservation problems of sustenaining the population of the Great Bustard (Otis tarda) on the Moson Plain on the long term
Spakovszky Péter, Pellinger Attila & Burda Brigitta

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On the Moson Plain there occur in the winter ca. 50, in the spring 120-140 Great Bustards (Otis tarda), this is the Hungarian part of the totally isolated West-Pannonian bustard population. Habitats of the population are decreasing, on many places even ceased, the former population of several thousand individuals dropped to ca. 120 to the 90s. Thanks to the effective protective measures the number of individuals has tripled since then, despite this the status of the population cannot be said as satisfactory. Their habitat is entirely on intensively cultivated agricultural area, on which the conditions suitable for them can only be maintained due significant monetary input (agricultural schemes in all three countries affected), further human activity leading to decrease and fragmentation of their habitat is still ongoing. The most significant among these are following: 1. Exploitation of resources (gravel mines, wind turbines), 2. increasing human presence (expanding settlements, spreading of outdoor sports, peripherial entertainment facilities, increase in birdwatching tourism), 3. development of infrastructure (building of motorways, high-speed railway, development of the road network, increase of traffic, dense aerial high voltage line network, planned gas lines), 4. Intensive agriculture. Conservation possibilities to ward off or compensate for these processes are limited. On the Moson Plain there is no protected area of national importance, however on 25,715 hectares it is an Environmentally Sensitive Area, on 13,038 hectares a Special Protection Area.The assignment of the Natura 2000 area enabled the realization of variuos subsidies and projects for the protection of the Great Bustard, as well as facilitated the enforcement of conservation goals in various planning, regulation and authorisation processes. In the future, for the sake of the protection of the species the restrictions necessary during authority procedures can be supported by the results of a harmonized monitoring on the area of the affected three countries.