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How to Help?
If you are a farmer...

In winter

Winter is a critical period in the life of Great Bustards because food availability can become limited, which can trigger either migration or starvation. Both can lead to catastrophic mortalities and it may take decades before the population can recover.

Farmers can help Great Bustards to pull over the winter by:

  • Growing oilseed rape or alfalfa, the favourite winter food of the species. It is important to locate these crops far from overhead cables. Collision with overhead cables is an important factor contributing to the decline of the species.
  • It is important to avoid disturbance of wintering flocks!
  • In case of heavy snowfall, maintaining stripes free of snow can help a great deal not only for Great Bustard, but also for game species as Partridge, Phasant, Hare or Roe Deer.

During the display season

In April and early May, Great Bustards gather at traditional communal lek sites where males attract females with spectacular display. It is very important for the successful reproduction of the species to avoid disturbance of these sites.

During the breeding season

Unfortunately, the breeding season of Great Bustard coincides with the cultivation of several crops and mowing of alfalfa or grassland fields. Farmers can help a great deal to ensure that the species breeds successfully.

  • If possible, avoid cultivation of fields where Great Bustard breeds. Females often return to sites where they have bred successfully in the previous year. Hence, special attention should be paid to these areas.
  • If you flushed a female during mowing, search for the nest and cover lightly with some grass or alfalfa to avoid that crows or gulls damage it. Leave about 1 hectare uncut buffer around the nest. For three hours, avoid working around the nest to let the female return to the nest. Avoid disturbing the nest again.
  • Contact the local Great Bustard expert. To find their contact details follow the link below.

If you like nature...

Enjoy them with respect

Great Bustards are very cautious birds and may flee from long distances. Please, avoid disturbing them especially at their lek sites, breeding or wintering places. Observe them from a long distance. In each country there are visitor facilities which make their observation easier, but reduces the risk of disturbance. To find out the location of these facilities, check out the websites of our partners.

If you leave in a Great Bustard area

Your observations can provide a valuable help for the conservation of Great Bustard. The Online Database on this website was designed to make it easier to share your observations with the national organisations responsible for the conservation of Great Bustard in your country.


Finding Great Bustard nests before the agriculture works start and safeguarding the nests saved requires a lot of time. Our partner organisations can always use help of volunteers and spending some time in close proximity of Great Bustards is an unforgetable experience. Check out the possibilities at our Partners' websites.


Protection of this majestic bird is an expensive venture. It requires specially trained personnel and equipment. Therefore, our Partners always need financial assistance.

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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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