Ornis Hungarica. vol.29(1). (2021) p.170-178.
The effect of Natura 2000 network on the Eurasian Eagle-owl (Bubo bubo) population in Southeast Bulgaria: implications for conservation
The effectiveness and efficiency of the Natura 2000 network for the Eurasian Eagle-owl conservation in SE Bulgaria was assessed by comparing data collected during a long-term study on number of breeding pairs and fledglings before and after network establishment. The Natura 2000 network and non-protected areas showed similar values of the calculated indices according to the number of occupied localities. However, the pairs in Natura 2000 sites bred significantly less fledglings after the creation of the network than the pairs in non-protected ones. The Special Protection Areas (SPA) system created specifically for the preservation of birds has the lowest efficiency in respect to Eurasian Eagle-owl protection. Proposals were made after ‘gap analysis’ for real protection and optimization of the protected-area network to increase the stability of the Eurasian Eagle-owl population in the changing environment.