Favourable conditions for the Lesser Spotted Eagle – open spaces within the forests

photo: D. Gradinarov

Open spaces such as meadows and pastures at the edge of the forest serve as important territories for amphibians, frogs, reptiles and other small vertebrates which are key ingredients of the basic diet of the Lesser Spotted Eagle. Loss of some of these landscapes leads to insufficient food sources in the breeding grounds and stop-overs during migration; consequently, the nesting success could decrease, death rate among young birds could increase and the physical condition of migrating birds could deteriorate.

The Forest Act prohibits forestation of forest meadows and glades. However, in the case of self-regeneration of the forest on such a territory, its status needs to be changed to ‘forest’. Thus the site would be managed as forest. In many cases the preservation of protected open spaces and the species associated with them requires additional activities which practically slow down the process of succession. The existing financial mechanisms for owners and managers of such lands in NATURA 2000 sites should be propagated for their more successful use. That is why we advise forest owners as to: what actual compensation mechanisms exist for NATURA 2000; which territories meet the requirements for agri-ecological payments; what are the most appropriate activities for maintaining open spaces in the territory they manage. We offer assistance both during the process of selection of the most appropriate agricultural subsidies, as well as in the preparation of the application documentation.