Program LIFE
Príroda a biodiverzita - NATURA 2000


Druhy

Important species

Ferruginous Duck  (Aythya nyroca)

Description and Ecology: Ferruginous Duck is a bird with chestnut-coloured plumage. In flight very striking broad white wing-bars are visible, running to the tip of wing. Males have white eyes, since the Slovak name "white-eyed duck". Ferruginous Duck is feeding mainly by diving. While taking off from water, the bird starts by running on water surface first.  It is a less gregerious species than other diving ducks. This duck requires a habitat with abundant shoreline vegetation with Typha and Phragmites type, eutropic lakes and marshes, with sufficient open water areas. Its nest is usually hidden in vegetation near open water. It is a migratory species, wintering around the Mediterranean and in Africa.

Status and Conservation in Europe: Ferruginous Duck is a widespread but patchily distributed breeder accross much of Europe. Its population underwent a large historical decline, more than 30% overall. The total number of breeding pairs in Europe is approximately 18 000. The countries with higher populations are Romania, Croatia, Hungary. The conservation status globally is Near Threatened, and the species is provisionally evaluated as Vulnerable in Europe.

Status at Project sites:In years 1980–1999 in Slovakia the total number of breeding pairs was 5–20. Birds breed in western, south and eastern Slovakia. It requires a high quality wetland type of habitat and it is very sensitive to any changes. The Project sites SPA Senne and SPA Medzibodrozie are important breeding sites for the species. Their conservation status at both sites is unfavourable. At SPA Senne previously breeder, now not breeding. At SPA Medzibodrozie probably still breeding a few pairs.

Great Bittern  (Botaurus stellaris)

Description and Ecology: Great Bittern is a large heron slightly smaller than Grey Heron but more bulky and compact.  It is a secretive bird, more often heard than seen. Its call, a song of booming male, is far-crying, very low, and repeated.  Great Bittern is a bird with highly restricted habitat requirements. It breeds in extensive Phragmites reedbeds only, comprehensively flooded and shallow, with little fluctuation in water level. These places they use also for feeding, slowly walking and standing in shallow water, hiden in vegetation, hunting for small fish. Even in winter under freezing conditions some individuals can be seen.

Status and Conservation in Europe:

Great Bittern is patchily distributed in Europe. Its population underwent a large historical decline with some increasing trends recently.  The total number of breeding pairs is approximately 50 000. The countries with higher populations are Russia, Poland, Belarus, Hungary. The conservation status in Europe is Depleted, large historical decline.

Status at Project sites:In years 1980–1999 in Slovakia the total number of breeding pairs was 50–100. Birds breed in Podunajska nizina lowland and in eastern Slovakia. The Project sites SPA Senne and SPA Medzibodrozie are important breeding sites for the species. Their conservation status at both sites is unfavourable. SPA Senne hosts 5-11 pairs, still declining. SPA Medzibodrozie hosts about 25-30 pairs.

Corncrake (Crex crex)

Description and Ecology: Corncrake is not so tied to wet marshland as some other crakes and rails. The bird avoids very marshy areas with standinh water, and preferes more wet meadows and other grasslands. Corncrake can also be found in drier meadows and hay fields, where its display call is heard over the night and also in daytime. The typical call consists of sharp rasping "crex-crex", since its scientific name, repeated for hours. The species is a long distance migrant, wintering in southern Africa.

Status and Conservation in Europe:

Corncrake is a widespread summer visitor to Europe. Its breeding population is quite large, but declining substantially over the last decades. In some countries it fluctuates or is more stable in recent years. The total number of breeding pairs is close to  2 000 000. The countries with higher populations are Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Latvia. The conservation status in Europe is Depleted, large historical decline.

Status at Project sites:

In years 1980–1999 in Slovakia the total number of breeding pairs was 1400–1700. Birds breed in most of central and eastern Slovakia. The population is relatively stable. Both Project sites are important breeding sites for the species. Their conservation status at both sites is unfavourable. SPA Senne hosts up to 10 pairs and SPA Medzibodrozie about 100.

Pygmy Cormorant  (Phalacrocorax pygmaeus)

Description and Ecology: Pygmy Cormorant, much smaller in size with short neck and bill, somehow resembles a baby of better-known Great Cormorant. It is a bird with patchy distribution in south-east Europe, around the Black Sea, Caspian Sea and Aral Sea. Birds breed colonially at freshwater lakes and coastal deltas with rich vegetation. They often perche on branches or climb on reed stems. It is mostly sedentary bird with some movements along the coasts. Some aspects of its biology are insufficiently known.

Status and Conservation in Europe:Pygmy Cormorant breeds patchily in southern and south-eastern Europe. The Danube Delta is one of the strongholds in Europe. The total number of breeding pairs is approximately 39 000. The species underwent a moderate decline in last decades. The countries with higher populations are Romania and Azerbaijan. The conservation status is globally Near Threatened species, previously Vulnerable in Europe, now Secure.

Status at Project sites:In years 1980–1999 in Slovakia the total number of breeding pairs was 0–1. The only locality where the breeding of a single pair has occured in 1992, is the Project sites SPA Senne.  Several other individuals were observed in 1990s, mostly at  SPA Senne. Conservation status is unfavourable.

Purple Heron  (Ardea purpurea)

Description and Ecology: Purple Heron is a big quite dark looking heron. In flight often recognised by monosylabic call, similar but shorter than Grey Heron`s. Its habitat is mostly extensive, shallow swampy lakes with reedbeds where it breeds in collonies. It never uses trees to build its nests Birds search for food in shallow water and wet meadows. It is a solitary, passive feeder, waiting motionless often hidden in vegetation. Purple Heron is a summer visitor to Europe, it winters in Africa south of Sahara.

Status and Conservation in Europe:Purple Heron breeds in southern half of Europe. It underwent a large decline over the last decades, and it still continues to decline. The total numbr of breeding pairs is approximately 42 000. The countries with key populations are Spain, France, Italy, Hungary, Ukraine. The conservation status in Europe is Declining, moderate continuing decline.

Status at Project sites:In years 1980–1999 in Slovakia the total number of breeding pairs was 20–60. While there is a possibility for their breeding in south-western Slovakia, the only known breeding sites are still in eastern part of the country, both Project sites, SPA Senne and SPA Medzibodrozie. Their conservation status at both sites is unfavourable. SPA Senne hosts 10-18 pairs, declinig, and SPA Medzibodrozie 15-25.

Western Marsh Harrier  (Circus aeruginosus)

Description and Ecology: Marsh Harrier is a typical raptor associated with water. It lives in dense marsh vegetation and other aquatic habitats, with reedbeds along margins. These raptors nest in tall reedbed on shallow freshwater lakes, where they can often be seen flying low abobe the vegetation. Marsh Harriers perform spectacular aerial display during breeding season and are quite vocal. In autumn they migrate south.

Status and Conservation in Europe: Marsh Harrier is a widespread breeder accross much of Europe. Its population is relatively stable or slightly increasing overall.  The total number of breeding pairs is approximately 140 000. The countries with higher populations are Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, Germany. The conservation status in Europe is Secure.

Status at Project sites: In years 1980–1999 in Slovakia the total number of breeding pairs was 400–500. This species is a regular breeder in lowlands in southern part of the country. The Project sites SPA Senne and SPA Medzibodrozie belong to the most significant breeding areas. Their conservation status is favourable. SPA Senne hosts 20-40 pairs and SPA Medzibodrozie 55-65 pairs.

Great Egret  (Egretta alba)

Description and Ecology: Great Egret is a very nice all-white heron, about  the size of well-known Grey Heron. The species inhabits all kinds of wetlands, both coastal and inland. It preferes large shallow swampy lakes with reeds and some bushes. It breeds in colonies often mixed with other colonial birds. Great Egret feeds in flood meadows but also in dry fields, where it can be seem often in late autumn. The bird is a partial migrant, the European population winters in Mediterranean region and in Africa.

Status and Conservation in Europe:Accross much of  Europe the Great Egret has a patchy distribution. Its population is relatively small but slightly increasing, with positive trends for recent decades. The total numbr of breeding pairs is approximately 24 000. The countries with key populations are Ukraine, Hungary, Austria. The conservation status in Europe is Secure.

Status at Project sites: In years 1980–1999 in Slovakia the total number of breeding pairs was 0–80. While the migrating birds are seen in much of the country, the only breeding sites are both Project sites, SPA Senne and SPA Medzibodrozie. Their conservation status at both sites is unfavourable. SPA Senne hosts 30-60 breeding pairs and SPA Medzibodrozie 10-20 pairs.

Little Egret  (Egretta garzetta)

Description and Ecology: Little Egret is a medium-sized white heron, elegant bird  with black legs and  bright yellow toes. The species inhabits wide variety of wetlands, shallow lakes, coastal lagoons and rivers, both fresh and salt water. It nests colonially in dense trees and bushes often with other birds. Birds feed in small groups at fish ponds and flooded fields. Little Egret is a migratory species. European birds winter in Mediterranean and in Africa.

Status and Conservation in Europe:In southern and central Europe the Little Egret is a patchily distributed breeder. Its breeding population is relatively stable or increasing over the last decades.
The total numbr of breeding pairs is approximately 94 000. The countries with key populations are Spain, France, Italy . The conservation status in Europe is Secure.

Status at Project sites:In years 1980–1999 in Slovakia the total number of breeding pairs was 0–30. While the migrating birds are seen in western and northern parts of the country, the important  breeding sites are in eastern Slovakia, both SPA Senne and SPA Medzibodrozie. Their conservation status is unfavourable. SPA Senne hosts 10-30 pairs and SPA Medzibodrozie 5-15.

Common Crane (Grus grus)

Description and Ecology: Common Crane or Eurasian Crane is a very large wading birds with long legs and neck, grey coloured. It is a bird of boreal forests, where it inhabits bogs, swamps, wetlands, sedge meadows and all kind of shallow water. In early spring birds perform spectacular dancing display and are very vocal. Common Crane is a long-distance migrant, it travels south to Spain and Africa in large numbers.

Status and Conservation in Europe:Common Crane is a widespread summer visitor to northern Europe occuring more patchily farther south. Its breeding population is relatively small and underwent a large historical decline. The total numbr of breeding pairs is approximately 110 000. The countries with higher populations are Poland, Finland, Sweden, Russia. The conservation status in Europe is Depleted.

Status at Project sites:The species migrates in large numbers regularly across Slovakia, especially its eastern part. There are no breeding records, but the potential possibility would arise with properly managed localities. Conservation status at SPA Senne is unknown. For some 600 migrating individuals SPA Senne is an important stopover site. Very few individuals recorded also durind breeding season recently.

White-tailed Sea Eagle  (Haliaeetus albicilla)

Description and Ecology: White-tailed Sea Eagle is a large eagle with broad wings and slightly wedge-shaped tail. The adult bird is brown with white tail, a visible sign to recognise the species.It breeds along sea coasts, by larger rivers, lakes and other water bodies. On tall trees birds build a huge nest with thick branches which they use year after year if not disturbed. Sea Eagles feed primarily on fish.

Status and Conservation in Europe:White-tailed Sea Eagle is a widespread but patchily distributed breeder in northern, central and eastern Europe. Recent years after recovering slowly from DDT era, and with some reintroduction efforts, population of eagles is increasing in some countries.  The total number of breeding pairs in Europe is approximately 5 000, which is about 50% of global population. The countries with key populations are Norway, Russia, Poland. The conservation status in Europe is Rare, globally it is still Near Threatened species.

Status at Project sites:White-tailed Sea Eagle has returned to breed in Slovakia at the end of 1990s after  34 years. It was due to increasing trends and expanding population in Hungary. In years 1980–1999 some 2-4 pairs were recorded breeding. The number is still raising and both Project sites are very important refuges for the species. Their conservation is unknown. At SPA Senne one pair is regularly hunting, and SPA Medzibodrozie 1 pair was recorded breeding in 2006, up to 5 individuals regularly overwinter there.

Little Bittern  (Ixobrychus minutus)

Description and Ecology: Little Bittern is a very small heron, nicely coloured, with secretive life. Sometimes, a nasal abrupt call is heard, typical for the species. In flight creamy wing patches are well visible. Little Bittern lives in freshwater marshes with reedbeds, reedy ponds, ditches or other aquatic vegetation, also with young willow trees. The species builts its nest in vegetation or bushes very low above water surface. It  migrates to wintering grounds in Africa.

Status and Conservation in Europe:Little Bittern is a widespread summer visitor to central and southern Europe. The total number of breeding pairs is approximately 120 000. The species has declined due to habitat destruction in many areas. The countries with higher populations are Ukraine, Romania, Hungary. The conservation status in Europe is Depleted, large historical decline.

Status at Project sites:In years 1980–1999 in Slovakia the total number of breeding pairs was 200–400. The species breeds on favourable habitats in Podunajska nizina lowland and Vychodoslovenska nizina lowland. Both  Project sites SPA Senne and especially SPA Medzibodrozie are important breeding sites for the species. Their conservation status is unknown. SPA Senne hosts  3-5 pairs, SPA Medzibodrozie 35-45 pairs.

Black-crowned Night-heron  (Nycticorax nycticorax)

Description and Ecology: Black-crowned Night-heron is unmistacable short-billed medium sized heron. It is not always strictly nocturnal, as its name would indicate. The species is often active at daytime, noisy at colonies with distinctive flight call rather frog-like croak. Birds are often seen roosting communally in trees. It breeds colonially at marshes and ponds in areas with aquatic vegetation. Feeding birds can be seen in pastures, canals and water reservoirs. European population winters in Africa.

Status and Conservation in Europe:Black-crowned Night-heron is a widespread summer visitor to much of central and southern Europe. Its population underwent a moderate decline for recent decades. Today the European population is relatively stable with some fluctuating trends. The total number of breeding pairs is approximately 87 000. The countries with higher populations are Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, France. The conservation status in Europe is Depleted, moderate historical decline.

Status at Project sites:In years 1980–1999 in Slovakia the total number of breeding pairs was 100–400. Breeding collonies of Black-crowned Night-heron occurs in Podunajska nizina lowland and in both Project sitesat Vychodoslovenska nizina lowland. Their conservation status at both sites is favourable.SPA Senne hosts 70-130 breeding pairs and SPA Medzibodrozie 250-400 pairs.

Eurasian Spoonbill  (Platalea leucorodia)

Description and Ecology: Eurasian Spoonbill is a taller bird, white-coloured with black legs and typical spoon-shaped bill. It inhabits shallow, extensive wetlands. Species breeds in colonies in large reed swamps with some bushes. Spoonbills do not mix with other species while nesting. Birds require access to sheltered, shallow open water where their typical foraging behaviour can be seen. It involves bill held lowered in water and head swung from side to side while the bird slowly forwards. They usually prey in small flocks. European populations winter in Meditarranean basin and in Africa.

Status and Conservation in Europe:Eurasian Spoonbill is a widespread but patchily distributed breeder accross much of southern and central Europe. Its population is relatively small and underwent a large decline in recent decades. Today in most countries their populations are stable or have slightly increased. The total number of breeding pairs is approximately 10 000. The countries with higher populations are Russia, Romania, Hungary, Spain, Netherlands. The conservation status in Europe is Rare.

Status at Project sites:In years 1980–1999 in Slovakia the total number of breeding pairs was 0–35. the only breeding site in Slovakia is a Project site SPA Senne. Their conservation status at both sites is unfavourable. Their conservation status at both sites is unknown. SPA Senne hosts fluctuating, mostly declining small population and SPA Medzibodrozie is important feeding site for the species.

Pied Avocet  (Recurvirostra avosetta)

Description and Ecology: Pied Avocet is a black and white coloured shorebird. The bird has a very distinctive feeding action, sweeping its bill from side to side through water detecting prey by touch. It breeds on flat open seashores and also on suitable freshwater habitats far from the sea coasts. Bird nests on bare ground near water. When disturbed during nesting bird gives typical alarm call in flight. Inland population winters in Mediterranean region and in coastal Africa.

Status and Conservation in Europe:Pied Avocet is very patchily distributed breeder in Europe. Its population is relatively small but increasing substantially in recent decades. The total number of breeding pairs is approximately 57 000. The countries with higher populations are Ukraine, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, Spain. The conservation status in Europe is Secure.

Status at Project sites:In years 1980–1999 in Slovakia the total number of breeding pairs was 0–20. The species requires very specific habitat. Except one known breeding site in western Slovakia, the Project site SPA Senne offers very important nesting conditions for Pied Avocet. At SPA Senne first breeding appeared in 1985. Conservation status is unfavourable. Some 0-5 pairs may breed depending on availability of suitable habitats.

Ruff (Philomachus pugnax)

Description and Ecology: Ruff belongs to a few waders with marked sexual size difference , males being considerably bigger than females. Also in breeding birds there is a big difference in plumage, males have spectacularly coloured dress and perform display fights in traditional arenas. Species breeds on taiga bogs, tundra and wet meadows at seashores. In spring birds migrate from Africa in large flocks over inland Europe. Their autumn migration is less remarkable.

Status and Conservation in Europe:Ruff is a widespread breeder in much of northern  Europe. Its breeding population is large, more than 200 000 pairs, quite stable. Over the last decades the species  underwent moderate decline overall. The countries with high populations are Russia, Sweden, Finland, Norway. The conservation status in Europe is Declining, with moderate recent decline.

Status at Project sites:The species is a regular transmigrant in Slovakia. The Project site SPA Senne is very important stopover site especially in spring. Flocks of migrating Ruffs can reach ten thousands individuals.      

Black-tailed Godwit  (Limosa limosa)

Description and Ecology: Black-tailed Godwit is a tall, elegant wader, unmistakable in flight, with broad white wing bars and characteristic nasal flight call. The bird lives mostly on freshwater habitats, on extensive wet meadows and grassy marshes in Europe and Asia. It spends winter in Africa, in a belt just below Sahara.

Status and Conservation in Europe:Black-tailed Godwit is a breeder in eastern and north-western Europe.
Its breeding population is relatively large, more than 100 000 pairs, quite stable, in some countries with continued decline.  The countries with higher populations are Russia, Netherlands, Poland, Iceland. The conservation status in Europe is Vulnerable.

Status at Project sites:The species is a rare breeder in Slovakia. In years 1980–1999 in Slovakia the total number of breeding pairs was 5-40. The SPA Senne in the past offered very good breeding conditions, with up to 40 breeding pairs. Since 1990 the numbers have drastically decreased. The site is also important stopover for migrating birds with up to 3 500 individuals, regularly about 1 000 birds.

Common Redshank  (Tringa totanus)

Description and Ecology: Common Redshank is one of the commonest medium-sized wader with red legs and musical distinctive call. It breeds on wide diversity of inland and coastal habitats, including marshes, wet meadows, flooded grasslands and moorland. It is a chiefly migratory species, except some British and West European coastal populations. Birds migrate to Mediterranean and coastal Africa.

Status and Conservation in Europe:Common Redshank is a widespread breeder in much of  Europe. Its European breeding population is large, more than 300 000 pairs. Bird underwent moderate, still continuing  decline. The countries with higher populations are Iceland, Russia, Norway, UK,  Belarus,  Denmark, Netherlands, Germany. The conservation status in Europe is Declining.

Status at Project sites:The species is a breeder in western and eastern Slovakia. In years 1980–1999 the total number of breeding pairs was 35-70. At the SPA Senne the highest number of breeding pairs was recorded, up to 20. Regularly 3-5 pairs, some 1 000 individuals on migration. Their numbers fluctuate. Both Project sites are important for the species. SPA Medzibodrozie hosts 10-15 breeding pairs and up to 2 000 individuals on migration.

Northern Lapwing  (Vanellus vanellus)

Description and Ecology: Northern Lapwing is a black and white pigeon-sized plover with long crest and iridescence plumage. In flight it is often recognised by extraordinary, flappy wing beats, by its aerobatic display and by its vocal, alarm call.  It is the common breeding bird found in a variety of habitats, such as open countries, fields and pastureland. In some winters birds may overwinter in the area, otherwise they move south. It is one of the first birds to reappear in early spring.

Status and Conservation in Europe:Northern Lapwing is the most abundant wader in Europe. Its European breeding population is very large, up to 2 800 000 pairs. Many populations suffered decline, namely UK, Netherlands and Russia ones, and the species underwent a large decline overall. The countries with higher populations are Iceland, Russia, Netherlands, Poland, Belarus, UK. The conservation status in Europe was Secure, now it is Vulnerable.

Status at Project sites:The species breeds in most of Slovakia. In years 1980–1999 the total number of breeding pairs was 2 500-5 000. Both Project sites are breding areas for the species. Their numbers fluctuate according to breeding conditions. Both Project sites are important for the species. At SPA Senne 5-15 breeding pairs and up to 10 000 migrating, and the same numbers apply for SPA Medzibodrozie.

Whiskered Tern  (Chlidonias hybrida)

Description and Ecology: Whiskered Tern is a slender, rather small tern, with contrasting white cheeks. It is a bird of inland wegetated lakes, marshes and rivers in lowland country. Whiskered Terns often feed over lakes and marshes on small fish and other aquatic creatures. They breed in collonies building thier flimsy nests floating on water surface. Eastern European birds winter along the Nile River and in East Africa.
Status and Conservation in Europe:Whiskered Tern is a locally distributed breeding species in eastern and southern Europe. Its European breeding population is relatively stable, with moderate decline in the past. Today, the populations have slightly increasing or fluctuating trends. The total number of breeding pairs is approximately 87 000. The countries with higher populations are Russia, Romania, Spain, Ukraine, Hungary, France. The conservation status in Europe is Depleted, with moderate historical decline.
Status at Project sites:In years 1980–1999 in Slovakia the total number of breeding pairs was 50–200. This species is a rare migrant in Slovakia. The only breeding areas are the Project sites SPA Senne, the most important breeding site at all, and SPA Medzibodrozie.  The SPA Senne hosts fluctuatin numbers of breeding pairs, up to 200, most of them in National Nature Reserve. The SPA Medzibodrozie hosts up to 60 pairs. Their conservation status at both sites is unfavourable.

 

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