First Meeting of Signatory States to the CMS Memorandum of
Understanding on the Conservation and Management of the Middle-European
Population of the Great Bustard (Otis tarda) concluded
successfully on 17 September 2004 with the adoption of a Medium
Term International Work Programme under the MoU. Representatives
of ten of the seventeen Range States, together with specialists
from a number of scientific institutes and non-governmental
organizations, attended the meeting in Illmitz, Austria.
The two-day Symposium of Great Bustard Experts from all
over Europe and Part of Asia preceded the meeting on 14-15
September 2004. Over seventy experts and governmental officials
attended. They provided important scientific inputs into
the MoU meeting including information on the conservation
status of the Great Bustard for all of Europe. The entire
European population is estimated to be between 35,600 and
38,500 birds. (see: Population
Chart in PDF)
Both meetings took place at the Information Centre of the
See National Park. The Austrian Ministry of
Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management
and the Neusiedler See National Park hosted the meetings.
The Symposium was co-organized by the Ministry and the National
Park. The Ministry, National Park and CMS co-organised the
MoU Meeting. The participants particularly enjoyed an excursion
to visit habitats important for Great Bustard organised
by the Ministry and the Hungarian Ministry of Environment.
A number of Great Bustards and other birds were sited.
In addition to adopting the new MoU Medium Term International
Work Programme that will help to coordinate international
cooperative projects within the agreement area, the Meeting
agreed on a national report format. It will be used by the
Signatories for future meetings to gauge the MoU’s
level of implementation. In addition, the Meeting agreed
to expand the geographical scope of the MoU and laid the
basis to invite Italy, the Russian Federation and Serbia
and Montenegro to join the MoU in the future.
The next meeting of the Signatory States will take place