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Study demonstrates the effectiveness of the Birds Directive

In joint research study published at the end of July between the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and Durham University in the UK, researchers believe that birds protected by the Birds Directive are more likely to prosper  faced with threats of climate change and habitat loss.  With the European Commission currently reviewing the Birds and Habitats Directives, as part of the so called fitness check into their effectiveness, the research claims that the Birds Directive is the most effective way to protect different threatened species. 

Dr Fiona Sanderson, RSPB scientist and lead author of the paper believes that the study’s findings point to “protection of bird species working the most effectively for those species with highest level of protection under annex 1 of the Birds Directive that is leading to increasing populations particularly in the established European Union members states. Species like Dalmatian Pelican, Common Crane, White-tailed Eagle and White-Headed Duck now have growing populations in comparison to other threatened species that are not on annex 1 list. 

The research points to the need for better implementation protection projects for species across the other annexes as well. The report also stated that long-distant migrants didn't do as well as those flying short distances, meaning even strong conservation measures are not yet able to sufficiently protect birds from dangers along their migration route and climate change. The RSPB underlines that 520,325 people and 120 NGOs have supported the online campaign against this review in the largest public response to any consultation published by the European Commission. It says that at a time when the benefits of EU membership are increasingly questioned, this research shows that, at least for nature, the EU is making a huge positive difference,” and calls on the Commission not to demolish legislation that is proven to work and enjoys a massive support among EU citizens.

Meanwhile the ENEP TTF has submitted its response to the EU Fitness check on Nature Directives and will look to participate in a high level conference that the European Commission will host in late autumn.


Issue 44