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About the Great Bustard MoU

The Middle-European population of Great Bustard

The current breeding range of the Middle-European population of Great Bustard extends from Germany in the north through Austria and Slovakia to Hungary in the south and Ukraine in the east. Nowadays the range of the species is extremely fragmented, but it has also bred in Poland, Czech Republic, Romania and Bulgaria until recently.

History and rationale of the MoU

The Middle-European population of Great Bustard is highly endangered because only small, more or less isolated local populations remained in most countries. The main reason of this decline is the low breeding success due to the effects of intensive agriculture. In addition, these populations can suffer extra mortality on harsh winters when unfavourable weather conditions force them to migrate. For example, the Hungarian population of Great Bustard has declined from 2,365 individuals in 1986 to 1,896 individuals in just one winter and has not recovered yet. Therefore, a Memorandum of Understanding was initiated at the 6th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) in Cape Town, South Africa, in November 1999. The MoU became effective on 1 June 2001.

Objectives of the MoU

The Signatories to the MoU endeavour to work closely together and also with relevant international organisations to improve the conservation status of Great Bustard throughout its actual and potential breeding, migratory and wintering range. To this end, they provide strict protection to the species and its habitat, restore the habitat whereever it is feasible and implement the Action Plan annexed to the MoU.

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1st International Symposium on Great Bustard
Conservation and Monitoring Network

(December 5-6, 2009, Beijing, China)
First Circular, Call for Pre-registration and...(06/06/2009) more »
By the end of the summer of 2006 the overall extension of the fields which are directly involved in the protection of Great Bustard in Hungary has reached almost 1500 hectares. (09/11/2006) more »
Is the export of chicks to England endangering the Russian population of Great Bustard? - one of the questions that had to be answered by great bustard conservation experts of MME (Hungarian Ornithological Society), who were requested to help the conservation work with their experiences in the...(19/07/2006) more »

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