Europe and Central Asia

Species protection and illegal hunting


Our work on the implementation of the Birds Directive
Dialogue with FACE
Illegal Killing
Species action plans
Species Conservation Not finished
Species protection and hunting


Our work on the implementation of the Birds Directive

Under the EU Birds Directive all bird species naturally occurring on the European territory of the EU are protected (a list of these species can be found here). This means they must not be deliberately killed, caught or disturbed, and their mating, breeding, feeding and roosting habitats must not be destroyed. The taking and destruction of eggs is prohibited as well as keeping of wild-caught birds.

BirdLife is regularly assessing the conservation status of all wild bird species. The last assessment was done in 2004 at Pan-European and EU level (BirdLife publications Birds in Europe /Birds in the EU). This showed that about half of the EU’s bird species are in unfavourable conservation status.