EU funding to rescue Romania’s lesser spotted eagle

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In the next three years, ornithologists and environmental experts will join forces in a project funded under the LIFE program and by the European Commission intended to protect Romania’s 2,300 pairs of lesser spotted eagles, Daniela Maria Stoica, director of the Sibiu Regional Environmental Protection Agency, told a press conference on Monday.

The project called “Conservation of Romania’s lesser spotted eagle’ is mainly aimed at setting the favorable conditions in place to ensure the conservation of 22 pct of the population across the EU of this bird species. The project’s significance is enhanced due to the European Commission having notified Romania of extremely costly sanctions for failure to observe its bird protection commitments.

The main dangers for the disappearance of the spotted eagle from Romania is the vanishing of the old woods which are this bird’s nesting habitat, the switch from traditional farming to the use of chemicals and the hunters who gun the birds down in order to stuff them.
The strongest population of lesser spotted eagle nesting pairs is in Transylvania (Region 7 Center), in western Romania and on the eastern slopes of the Carpathians. The ‘Conservation of Romania’s lesser spotted eagle’ project will be carried out in 12 Natura 2000 sites, the most important of which are: the Niraj Valley – in the Dealurile Tarnavelor hilly area, the Hartibaciu Plateau and the Fagaras sub-mountain areas.

Besides conservation activities, the project also includes communication activities and information of the local communities on their direct participation in conservation actions, their future involvement in the management of bird protection sites, understanding the benefits arising from cooperation for the species conservation, but also educational activities in Center Region schools, involving over 1,000 schoolers.

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