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Location Hungary, Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén,Hajdú-Bihar,Heves,Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok
Central coordinates 21o 4.00' East  47o 37.00' North
IBA criteria C1, C2, C3, C6
Area 90,000 ha
Altitude 83 - 102m
Year of IBA assessment 2002

Hungarian Ornithological and Nature Conservation Society



Site description Situated on the Hungarian Great Plain east of the River Tisza, Hortobágy is the largest puszta landscape in Hungary; an open plain dominated by saline grasslands and extensive arable lands. Depressions contain saline marshlands, with seasonal wetlands appearing in spring and autumn. Fish-ponds cover about 5,000 ha. Human activities include arable farming, cattle- and sheep-grazing, goose-farming, haymaking, angling, birdwatching, hunting and reed-harvesting (`Other' land-use, below). This area includes four sites that were treated as separate IBAs in the previous international IBA inventory (Grimmett and Jones 1989): `Hortobágy' (former site HU016), `Pusztakócsi mocsarak' (former site HU018), `ágota-puszta' (former site HU020) and `Nagyszék' (former site HU043).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Lesser White-fronted Goose Anser erythropus passage  2001  40-110 individuals  unknown  C1  Vulnerable 
Bean Goose Anser fabalis passage  2001  5,000-6,000 individuals  unknown  C3  Least Concern 
Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons passage  2001  10,000-20,000 individuals  unknown  C3  Least Concern 
Greylag Goose Anser anser passage  2001  2,500 individuals  unknown  C3  Least Concern 
Northern Shoveler Spatula clypeata passage  2001  5,000 individuals  unknown  C3  Least Concern 
Common Teal Anas crecca passage  2001  30,000 individuals  unknown  C3  Least Concern 
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca breeding  2001  70-140 breeding pairs  unknown  C1, C6  Near Threatened 
Smew Mergellus albellus winter  2001  250-600 individuals  unknown  C2  Least Concern 
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus breeding  2001  10-15 breeding pairs  unknown  C6  Least Concern 
Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia breeding  2001  260-420 breeding pairs  unknown  C2, C6  Least Concern 
Ixobrychus minutus breeding  2001  190-250 breeding pairs  unknown  C2, C6  Not Recognised 
Egretta garzetta breeding  2001  70-175 breeding pairs  unknown  C6  Not Recognised 
Eurasian Bittern Botaurus stellaris breeding  2001  220-310 breeding pairs  unknown  C2, C6  Least Concern 
Black-crowned Night-heron Nycticorax nycticorax breeding  2001  430-800 breeding pairs  unknown  C2  Least Concern 
Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides breeding  2001  45-75 breeding pairs  unknown  C2, C6  Least Concern 
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea breeding  2001  100-270 breeding pairs  unknown  C2, C6  Least Concern 
Great White Egret Ardea alba breeding  2001  700-900 breeding pairs  unknown  C2, C6  Least Concern 
Pygmy Cormorant Microcarbo pygmaeus breeding  2001  80-150 breeding pairs  unknown  C1, C6  Least Concern 
Pygmy Cormorant Microcarbo pygmaeus passage  2001  850 individuals  unknown  C1  Least Concern 
Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus breeding  2001  200-350 breeding pairs  unknown  C2, C6  Near Threatened 
Saker Falcon Falco cherrug breeding  2001  4-8 breeding pairs  unknown  C6  Endangered 
Western Marsh-harrier Circus aeruginosus breeding  2001  330-420 breeding pairs  unknown  C6  Least Concern 
Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus breeding  2001  15-30 breeding pairs  unknown  C6  Least Concern 
White-tailed Sea-eagle Haliaeetus albicilla winter  2001  50-80 individuals  unknown  C1  Least Concern 
Great Bustard Otis tarda breeding  2001  80-90 individuals  unknown  C1, C6  Vulnerable 
Spotted Crake Porzana porzana breeding  2001  80-190 breeding pairs  unknown  C2  Least Concern 
Common Crane Grus grus passage  2001  45,000-65,000 individuals  unknown  C2  Least Concern 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta breeding  2001  15-60 breeding pairs  unknown  C6  Least Concern 
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa passage  2001  10,000-30,000 individuals  unknown  C3  Near Threatened 
Slender-billed Curlew Numenius tenuirostris passage  2001  1 individuals  unknown  C1  Critically Endangered 
Ruff Calidris pugnax passage  2001  120,000-200,000 individuals  unknown  C2  Least Concern 
Common Tern Sterna hirundo breeding  2001  45-130 breeding pairs  unknown  C6  Least Concern 
Black Tern Chlidonias niger breeding  2001  60-300 breeding pairs  unknown  C2, C6  Least Concern 
Lesser Grey Shrike Lanius minor breeding  2001  220-300 breeding pairs  unknown  C6  Least Concern 
Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola breeding  2001  600-850 breeding pairs  unknown  C1, C6  Vulnerable 
Moustached Warbler Acrocephalus melanopogon breeding  2001  80-150 breeding pairs  unknown  C6  Least Concern 
Bluethroat Luscinia svecica breeding  2001  120-200 breeding pairs  unknown  C6  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Hevesi-s Birds Directive 77,016 protected area is adjacent to site 0  
Hortobágy Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 23,121 protected area overlaps with site 16,109  
Hortobágy - HUHN10002 Birds Directive 121,110 protected area overlaps with site 63,678  
Hortobágy - HUHN20002 Habitats Directive 105,170 protected area overlaps with site 52,679  
Hortobágy National Park UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve 52,000 protected area contained by site 52,000  
Hortobágyi National Park 81,865 protected area overlaps with site 62,358  
Tisza-tó - HUHN20003 Habitats Directive 17,830 protected area overlaps with site 7,518  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland Mesophile grasslands; Steppes and dry calcareous grassland  60%
Wetlands (inland) Standing freshwater; Water fringe vegetation  10%
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land; Forestry plantations; Ruderal land  30%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture 5%
agriculture 90%
nature conservation and research 80%
military 10%
tourism/recreation 10%
other 5%

Protection status National Partial International Partial62,358 ha of IBA covered by National Park (Hortobágy, 68,506 ha). 16,109 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Hortobágy, 19,473 ha). 52,000 ha of IBA covered by Biosphere Reserve (Hortobágy National Park, 52,000 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Hortobágy and Tisza-to. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/10/2014

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife