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Conservation of wild birds

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Directive 1979 and its amending acts aim at providing long-term protection and conservation of all bird species naturally living in the wild within the European territory of the Member States (except Greenland).

ACT

Council Directive 79/409/EEC of 2 April 1979 on the conservation of wild birds [See amending acts].

SUMMARY

This Directive as well as its amending acts seek to:

  • protect, manage and regulate all bird species naturally living in the wild within the European territory of the Member States, including the eggs of these birds, their nests and their habitats;
  • regulate the exploitation of these species.

The Member States must also conserve, maintain or restore the biotopes and habitats of these birds by:

  • creating protection zones;
  • maintaining the habitats;
  • restoring destroyed biotopes;
  • creating biotopes.

Special measures for the protection of habitats are adopted for certain bird species identified by the Directives (Annex I) and migratory species.

Directives establishing a general scheme for the protection of all bird species. The following are prohibited:

  • to deliberately kill or capture the bird species covered by the Directives. However, the Directives authorise the hunting of certain species on condition that the methods used comply with certain principles (wise use and balanced control, hunting outside the period of migration or reproduction, prohibition of large-scale or non-selective killing or catching methods);
  • to destroy, damage or collect their nests and eggs;
  • to disturb them deliberately;
  • to detain them.

Apart from a number of exceptions, in particular for certain species that may be hunted, the following are not permitted either: the sale, transport for sale, detention for sale and offering for sale of live and dead birds or of any part of a bird or any product produced from it.

The Member States may on certain conditions derogate from the provisions on protection laid down in the Directives. The Commission will ascertain that the consequences of such derogation are not incompatible with the Directives.

The Member States must encourage research and activities conducive to the protection, management and exploitation of the bird species covered by the Directives.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Directive 79/409/EEC06.04.197907.04.1981OJ L 103 of 25.04.1979

Amending act(s)Entry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Directive 81/854/EEC--OJ L 319 of 07.11.1981
Directive 91/244/EEC27.03.199131.07.1992OJ L 115 of 08.05.1991
Directive 94/24/EC20.07.199430.09.1995OJ L 164 of 30.06.1994
Act of Accession of Austria, Finland and Sweden01.01.1995-OJ L 1 of 01.01.1995
Directive 97/49/EC02.09.199730.09.1998OJ L 223 of 13.08.1997
Act of Accession of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovenia and Slovak Republic01.05.2004-OJ L 236 of 23.09.2003
Regulation (EC) No 806/200305.06.2003-OJ L 122 of 16.05.2003
Directive 2006/105/EC1.1.20071.1.2007OJ L 363 of 20.12.2006

RELATED ACTS

Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council Amending, as regards the implementing powers conferred on the Commission, Council Directive 79/409/EEC on the conservation of wild birds - Adaptation to the regulatory procedure with scrutiny [COM/2008/0105 final - Not published in the Official Journal]

Report from the Commission of 12 April 2006 on the implementation of directive 79/409/EEC on the conservation of wild birds - Part I - Composite Report on Overall Progress Achieved - Update for 1999-2001 [COM(2006) 164 final - Official Journal C130 of 3.06.2006]

Commission report of 25 March 2002 on the application of Directive 79/409/EEC on the conservation of wild birds. Update for 1996-1998 based on information supplied by the Member States on the application of national measures adopted pursuant to the Directive. [COM(2002) 146 final - Not published in the Official Journal]

Commission report of 29 March 2000 on the application of Directive 79/409/EEC on the conservation of wild birds. Update for 1993-1995 based on information supplied by the Member States on the application of national measures adopted pursuant to the Directive [COM(2000) 180 final - Not published in the Official Journal].
This third report was compiled using information contained in the national reports sent to the Commission by the Member States pursuant to the Directive. For most Member States it covers the years 1993, 1994 and 1995. For Sweden, Finland and Austria it only covers 1995.

Second Commission report of 24.11.1993 on the application of Directive 79/409/EEC on the conservation of wild birds. [COM (1993) 572 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
The report was complied using information contained in the national reports sent to the Commission by the Member States pursuant to the Directive. For the tenth anniversary of the Directive's application, it was decided to take stock of the situation so as to assess what contribution the Directive had made to the conservation of birds in the Community. The main aim of this review was to highlight the Directive's achievements and to underline the application problems still to be solved. The report summarises the measures taken by the Member States and constitutes a comprehensive information document on the period from 1981 to 1991.

Council Directive 92/43/EECof 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora [Official Journal L 206 of 22.07.1992]
The European Union is seeking to ensure biodiversity by conserving natural habitats and wild fauna and flora in the territory of the Member States. An ecological network of special protected areas, known as "Natura 2000", is being set up for this purpose. The network is given coherence by other activities involving monitoring and surveillance, reintroduction of native species, introduction of non-native species, research and education.

Last updated: 08.04.2008
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