Europe and Central Asia
16 May 2011

Carpathian project has started


Polish Society for the Protection of Birds (OTOP) has opened an office in Cracow and started a 4-year monitoring and conservation program of the most precious birds in the Polish part of the Carpathian Mountains. The project will help us learn about location and ways of protection of Golden Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle, White-backed Woodpecker, Three-toed Woodpecker and alpine species like Alpine Accentor and Wallcreeper, in Poland breeding only in the Carpathians. The project will be conducted until 2015 by OTOP and supported by Switzerland as a part of Swiss cooperation program with new members of the European Union. “Stocktaking will show “what”, “where” and “how” to protect. For the first time ever we will have the opportunity to gather data on occurrence and abundance of key Carpathian species as well as information on condition of their habitats and factors that can endanger them. It will concern 45 species from Appendix 1 of Birds’ Directive and Red Polish Bird Book. Moreover, we will create a net of volunteers who will be monitoring natural resources of this area” – says Tomasz Wilk from OTOP, Coordinator of the Carpathian Project. The Carpathian Mountains are one of the most precious natural areas of Poland while still one of the least explored. Lack of complex stocktaking and nature monitoring providing data on trends, and insufficient knowledge of society is the reason for inadequate nature conservation there. The main goal therefore will be to conduct the stocktaking of key birds of this location which will allow creating solutions on birds monitoring and protection.  The project will also comprise building a net of people monitoring natural resources of Polish part of the Carpathian Mountains, series of workshops and training of preparation of birds’  conservation strategy. “Our aim is also to enhance awareness of inhabitants of the region: farmers, local authorities, foresters. We want to draw their attention to nature richness of that mountains, needs of conservation and possibilities of harmless economic activity. Hence, proposal of definite business activities promoting economic development of the region will be prepared” - adds Tomasz Wilk. Information gathered during the project will be summarized in Birds of the Polish Carpathian Mountains – Condition, Threats, and Conservation. It will be the first publication indicating “what” and “where” to protect while giving theoretical and practical background “how” to do this effectively. The data will also be summed up at the end of the project when international scientific conference will take place. Representatives of 6 countries (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Switzerland) will take place in that important meeting. Four staff members will be employed in the new Cracow office.. Project: “Stocktaking of Key Polish Birds’ Species of the Polish Carpathians and Preparation of Monitoring System for Them” will be conducted by the Polish Society for the Protection of Birds in 2011 – 2015 and is supported by Switzerland as a part of Swiss cooperation program with new members of European Union.

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