Birds of Slovakia

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Until recently, 336 bird species have existed in Slovakia, of which more than 250 species regularly occur here. From these species, 5 are globally and an additional 77 are internationally threatened and 69 species continually decrease in number.

Globally threatened species include ferruginous duck, white-tailed eagle, corncrake, great bustard, and imperial eagle.

For the conservation of threatened species SOVS implements, either individually or in close collaboration with other conservation subjects, the following measures:

-monitoring populations and distributions
-setting-up national species action plans
-influencing land use policies at local levels
-undertaking actions to protect endangered nests or key breeding sites
-organising public campaigns to increase awareness about threatened species

The area of Slovakia is 49,000 km2 of which 25% is covered by 32 Important Bird Areas (IBA) according to the criteria of BirdLife International.

The most threatened IBAs are wetlands (e.g. Morava, Danube and Ipeľ river’s floodplains, Sĺňava reservoir, Senné fishponds), forests (Malé Karpaty, Burda and Slanské hills, Malá Fatra, Tatry, Nízke Tatry and Poľana mts.), and sites with other habitats (Slovak karsts).

SOVS is working to protect IBAs through implementing the following activities:

-monitoring bird populations and reviewing the conservation status of sites,
-completing site management plans,
-running summer camps for volunteers to remove threats and manage the sites,
-organising school and public excursions to promote the bird importance of sites.

And What is SOVS?

·SOVS was established in 1993 and is the Partner of BirdLife International in Slovakia and the Member of the Eurogroup Against Bird Crime.

·The main mission of SOVS is the protection of birds and their habitats and the main priorities are the protection of threatened species, IBAs, and habitats.

·SOVS currently has approximately 900 members, from which 200 are children and 100 are active volunteers.

·SOVS has its headquarters with four six staff and nine regional members’ branches

·SOVS works with SVS, RSPB, VBN, MME and other BirdLife partnering organisations on international research, conservation actions and campaigns.

·SOVS co-operates with national (non-) governmental organisations, local authorities, and other conservation subjects, mass media, schools, etc.

SOVS’ most important activities are in the annual programmes with these main points:

-implementing research projects for globally threatened bird species
-monitoring Slovak IBAs and lobbying for their legal and practical protection
-running winter counts of waterfowl
-organising practical actions to help birds - installing nest boxes, guarding nests,managing important sites and habitats
-influencing legislation processes and implementation of international treaties
-preparing educational campaigns for children and adults - World and Winter Birdwatch, Spring Arrivals, Bird Marathon
-producing promotional, sales materials - videos, slide sets, T-shirts, brochures, posters, leaflets, stickers and postcards
-producing SOVS magazine Bird News and SOVS Newsletter.

More information available at this address:

Mlynske Nivy 41
851 09 Bratislava
Tel.: +421 2 55422185
Fax: +421 2 55425186

Rastislav Rybanic – executive director –