Showing posts from May, 2019

Forty Years of the EU’s Birds Directive

Forty Years of the EU’s Birds Directive In April, there was a notable anniversary for all nature conservationists. It was 40 years since the European Union’s Birds’ Directive, the first environmental legislation from the EU and still a cornerstone of nature conservation. Semi-collared flycatcher, Crete, April 2017. More formally this is the ‘ Council Directive 2009/147/EC on the conservation of wild birds.’ It is best known for setting up a network of Special Protection Areas (SPAs, as we call them in the UK). It also gives obligations to protect and conserve habitats for 194 species and subspecies, listed under Annex 1: bitterns, pelicans, terns and many birds of prey are just a few of these; passerines are often those with restricted distribution, such as semi-collared flycatcher and trocaz pigeon. The agreement of the ‘Birds Directive’ in April 1979 coincides with my own career in nature conservation. I arrived at the RSPB’s HQ in the second half of 1978. The UK