Europe and Central Asia

Species Action Plans


Special measures for species

The species listed in Annex I of the Birds Directive are, according to the Directive, those in danger of extinction, rare, vulnerable to specific changes in their habitat or requiring particular attention for reasons of the specific nature of their habitat. Currently, there are 195 species or sub-species listed on Annex I, many of which are even threatened at global level. The Directive also pays special attention to migratory birds, e.g. when it comes to the designation of Special Protection Areas (SPAs).

To coordinate and prioritise conservation action for the most threatened species, especially those for which the EU has a global responsibility, Species Action Plans are prepared. BirdLife International has an important role in leading and facilitating the development of these plans.


Action for huntable species in unfavourable conservation status

The main principle set in the Birds Directive for hunting of selected bird species is that any use of wild birds must comply with the principle of wise and ecologically balanced use. This goes in particular for those huntable species that are in unfavourable conservation status. As IUCN Red-List authority BirdLife regularly assesses the conservation status of all bird species.

Irrespective of whether hunting is among the reasons for the decline of these species, hunters have a special responsibility and motivation to work with others to bring these populations back to favourable conditions. To this end the European Commission facilitates the preparation of “management plans” for these species, which define actions necessary to reverse negative trends in their populations, including habitat restoration measures or (if necessary) temporary bans on hunting.