5 years ago

Tracking Progress Toward EU Biodiversity Strategy Targets: EU Policy Effects in Preserving its Common Farmland Birds

Sven Trautmann, David Hořák, Primož Kmecl, Tibor Szép, Richard D. Gregory, Jana Škorpilová, Ruud Foppen, Tomáš Telenský, Päivi M. Sirkiä, Frédéric Jiguet, Åke Lindström, Lorenzo Fornasari, Petr Voříšek, Anna Gamero, Lluís Brotons, Ariel Brunner, Chris A.M. Turnhout, Arco Strien, Jean-Yves Paquet, Aleksi Lehikoinen, Jiří Reif, Thomas Vikstrøm, Norbert Teufelbauer, Sergi Herrando, Zdeněk Vermouzek
Maximizing the area under biodiversity-related conservation measures is a main target of the European Union (EU) Biodiversity Strategy to 2020. We analyzed whether agrienvironmental schemes (AES) within EU common agricultural policy, special protected areas for birds (SPAs), and Annex I designation within EU Birds Directive had an effect on bird population changes using monitoring data from 39 farmland bird species from 1981 to 2012 at EU scale. Populations of resident and short-distance migrants were larger with increasing SPAs and AES coverage, while Annex I species had higher population growth rates with increasing SPAs, indicating that SPAs may contribute to the protection of mainly target species and species spending most of their life cycle in the EU. Because farmland birds are in decline and the negative relationship of agricultural intensification with their population growth rates was evident during the implementation of AES and SPAs, EU policies seem to generally attenuate the declines of farmland bird populations, but not to reverse them.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/conl.12292

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