Birds of the Carpathians - OTOP

The Polish Society for The Protection of Birds is realizing the project ‘Survey of the key bird species of the Polish Carpathian Mountains and creating the system of their monitoring and protection’. The project is realized from 2011 to 2015. The aim of the project is to identify populations of key bird species in the area of the Polish Carpathian Mountains and to create a long-term framework of monitoring and protection of these populations.

The Carpathians are an area of outstanding natural value in Poland, but their natural environment remains poorly explored. Lack of thorough knowledge on natural resources (lack of comprehensive surveys), lack of information on the situation of and threats to natural resources (lack of comprehensive monitoring schemes), and lack of adequate knowledge concerning these resources in society leads to incomplete and ineffective protection of the Carpathians’ natural environment. The project addresses these needs, by creating a comprehensive framework providing these lacking elements on the whole range of the Polish Carpathians, bordered by the Malopolskie, Podkarpackie and Slaskie Voivodeships.

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Main aim of the project will be achieved, by addressing the following four specific goals:

  1. Collecting data concerning distribution and numbers of the key bird species (species listed in Annex I of the Birds Directive and the Polish Red Data Book – approx. 45 species in total) in the area of the Polish Carpathians and information on the state of their habitats and factors threatening these species.
  2. Creating a network of volunteers who will monitor the natural resources of the Carpathians area. We will select, train and motivate appropriate people to participate in the nature monitoring of this area, and the network will ensure sustainable continuation of the project after its completion.
  3. Raising public awareness among selected target groups (foresters, farmers, local administrative units, region’s communities), regarding the natural resources of the Carpathians area, the means of and needs for its protection and the means of economic activity that would promote its conservation.
  4. For the target groups (farmers, foresters and local administrative units) we will indicate specific economic action schemes, with the aim of protecting the natural resources of the Carpathians and at the same time supporting economic activity among these groups and their potential economic development.


Achieving the four above goals will result in much more effective protection of the birds – as the key element of the Carpathian’s natural environment. The results of the survey will point to ‘what’, ‘where’ and ‘how’ to protect. Creating a monitoring framework will help answer the question of where to direct actions at first place (it will provide data on the trends of selected bird species / habitats and thus indicate the most threatened components). Creating the schemes of economic investments promoting protection of biological diversity for the main target groups, will allow to develop a firm and sustainable system of the nature protection in selected communes of the Polish Carpathians. Finally, raising public awareness concerning protection of the natural environment will cause this protection to be more effective and more frequently put in practice. As a consequence, the strong, positive effect on natural environment is expected, mainly through the increase in nature–friendly ways of managing habitats (farmers, foresters), increase in investments and activities promoting nature protection (local administrative units, communities), and increase in understanding of nature protection needs (society in the Carpathians region).

Project budget

Total project budget is 1 188 889 CHF and Swiss Contribution is 1 070 000 CHF.

Project supported by a grant from Switzerland through the Swiss Contribution to the enlarged European Union. 


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