Great Bustard MoU Meeting Adopts New Action Plan

CMS12 April 2013: The 3rd Meeting of Signatories to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Conservation and Management of the Middle-European Population of the Great Bustard (Otis tarda), held in Szarvas, Hungary, adopted a new Action Plan for the period 2012-2016.

Great Bustards are the heaviest flying bird of Europe and because of their preference for arable fields, they are particularly at risk from intensification of agriculture, as well as predation and collision with power lines.

The two-day meeting revised the Medium-term International Work Programme to elaborate how the plan will be implemented in coming years. The meeting was preceded by a Scientific Symposium and field trip to see Great Bustards in Körös-Maros National Park, and experts from Mongolia, the Russian Federation, Spain and the UK joined the Middle-European Range States.

Participants adopted a series of guidelines on reintroduction, population monitoring, and mitigation of the impacts of infrastructure, as well as a joint research programme. They also highlighted synergies with the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) Resolution 10.11 on power lines and Resolution 10.26 on poisoning, as well as with components of the Raptors MOU Action Plan.

Participants also agreed to amend the MoU to extend the agreement area to include additional known breeding and wintering grounds in Italy, Montenegro, the Russian Federation and Serbia. Austria, Germany and Hungary agreed to share MoU coordination responsibility until the next meeting which is scheduled for 2016 in Germany. [CMS Press Release] [Meeting Documents]