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22 New conservation schemes for farmland birds

22 New conservation schemes for farmland birds
The Birds@Farmland (B@F) Initiative of the European Commission was launched in 2020 with the aim to support 10 Member States  (Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy and Portugal)  in conserving wild birds living in agricultural landscapes.

Farmland birds are in major decline across Europe. Their conservation in good numbers is a requirement of the Birds Directive, while the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030 sets ambitious targets to restore farmland bird populations.

The Birds@Farmland initiative resulted in 22 farmland bird conservation schemes (CSs) developed with the participation of stakeholders and interested experts in the 10 Member States. The schemes were recommended for inclusion into the national Strategic Plans (SPs) under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Using the available tools under the new CAP the schemes follow both traditional and novel approaches, such as Agri-environmental schemes (AES), eco-schemes, advisory services, as well as some result-based payments. Given the bleak state of farmland bird populations across Europe, the proposed CS include conservation and restoration elements. It was up to the participating stakeholders at each Member State to choose the agricultural systems and/or flagship species on which to focus based on their most urgent needs.

In Portugal, 5 conservation schemes have been suggested, focusing on rice fields, cereal steppes, permanent pastures, and the hunting eagle, a species that has registered a large population decline.

All documents produced in the frame of the initiative are publicly available. They include technical reports, as well as a set of useful summary factsheets for Conservation Schemes, Agricultural Systems and Flagship Species.

Agricultural systems factsheets folder available here
Flagship species factsheets folder available here
Conservation schemes factsheets folder available here
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