Europe and Central Asia
5 Oct 2016

Fly away with me: the new Species Action Plan Tracking Tool (SAP TT)

By Sofia Capellan & Anna Staneva, BirdLife Europe and Central Asia's conservation team

The LIFE EuroSAP project: ten European countries, three years and one clear goal – halting the population decline of sixteen species of iconic European birds on a continental scale. Since its founding in April 2015, the project partnership[1] has been working hard to set up species Working Groups and coordinate a series of stakeholder consultations (with governments and the non-governmental sector) in order to lay a solid foundation for the success of 9 Species Action Plans (SAPs):

  • A Multi-SAP (MSAP) for 8 lowland breeding waders: Eurasian Oystercatcher, Northern Lapwing, ‘Baltic’ Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit, Common Snipe, Eurasian Curlew, Ruff and Common Redshank.
  • Two SAPs for marine birds: Yelkouan Shearwater and Monteiro’s Storm-petrel.
  • Six reviewed SAPs for: Velvet Scoter, White-Headed Duck, Cinereous Vulture, Bearded Vulture, Dalmatian Pelican, and European Turtle Dove.

By early 2018, the finalized plans will be ready to be adopted by the European Commission, the AEWA (African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement) and participating Member States.

When faced with the ambitious task of promoting and monitoring SAP implementation across Europe, Africa and Asia, the need for an accessible web-based platform for collecting and sharing relevant information became quickly apparent – and the idea for a Species Action Plan Tracking Tool (SAP TT) was born! Conceived as a collaborative platform, it should ensure effective coordination, transparency and broader consensus among the LIFE EuroSAP partners and key stakeholders (namely, governments, NGOs and research institutes).  

‘…the tracking tool is an open access resource available to all... 

The best part is that the tracking tool is an open access resource available to all. Stakeholders interested in developing new bird action plans are not only welcomed but encouraged. But also, anyone with an interest in birds and conservation will be able to find up-to-date information about the project’s sixteen species – from biological data and various conservation projects to an interactive timeline of the SAP development process. Thanks to SAP implementation reporting, users will be able to easily track conservation progress, country by country, on a map. They can also download key documents such as the Species Status Reports and draft action plans. Perhaps, most excitingly, users themselves can get involved by providing relevant data to the SAP coordinators for each species.

In this case, seeing really is believing. Explore the SAP Tracking Tool yourself and fly away with these sixteen magnificent, yet threatened, bird species. To start this journey – and for the dates of upcoming individual species workshops – please visit

[1] The project is coordinated by BirdLife International in partnership with  9 BirdLife partners – RSPB (UK), LPO (France), SEO/Birdlife Spain, SPEA (Portugal), NABU (Germany), HOS (Greece), VBN (Netherlands), SOF (Sweden), LOD (Lithuania) – along with FACE (Federation of Associations for Hunting and Conservation of the EU), VCF (Vulture Conservation Foundation) and AEWA (African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement).

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Stichting BirdLife Europe gratefully acknowledges financial support from the European Commission. All content and opinions expressed on these pages are solely those of Stichting BirdLife Europe. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.