About the project

On 1st October 2011 OTOP began the realisation of a comprehensive project "Active forms of protection of the European Roller in the area of Kurpiowska Plain" ("Aktywna ochrona kraski na Równinie Kurpiowskiej") under the No. POIS.05.01.00-00-344/10. The project is partly funded by the European Union from the resources gathered by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), within the Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment, and subsidized by the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management. The purpose of the project is preserving the population of the European Roller in the area of its largest density in Poland, Kurpiowska Plain (Równina Kurpiowska), which is situated within three districts: mazowieckie (Mazovia Province), podlaskie (Podlasie Province) and warmińsko-mazurskie (Waria-Masuria Province). It will have been finished by September 2014.

OTOP has joined in the protection of the European Roller in 2010, as the programme "Active forms of protection of the European Roller (Coracias garrulus) on Kurpiowska Plain within the Mazovia Province" ("Czynna ochrona kraski (Coracias garrulus) na Równinie Kurpiowskiej w granicach województwa mazowieckiego") was initiated by The General Directorate for Environmental Protection (GDEP) in Warsaw (Regionalna Dyrekcja Ochrony Środowiska (GDOŚ) w Warszawie).
Since then, OTOP has arranged monitoring of the European Roller at the request of the Chief Inspectorate of Environmental Protection (Główny Inspektorat Ochrony Środowiska GIOŚ).

The European Roller

At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, the European Roller was a common species all over Poland. Now, its breeding range restricts only to three, spatially isolated regions: Kurpiowska Plain, Sandomierz Forest (Puszcza Sandomierska) and southern part of the district of Białystok. In 2010, a Bird Monitoring project held by the State Environmental Monitoring showed that the entire population of the European Roller in Poland was 47 breeding pairs, while in 2011 it constituted 35 breeding pairs.

The Kurpiowska Plain has been the major sanctuary of this species in Poland. In 1990s, there were yet around 90 breeding pairs there; however, in 2010 and 2012, only 24 breeding pairs were registered.

Protection of the European Roller

Active forms of protection held within the project will concern both raising breeding success of the species and lowering mortality rate among young and adult specimens. The forms will include:

-          Installing nesting boxes,

-          Protecting hatches against predation,

-          Preventing feeding grounds from degradation and improving their structure,

-          Feeding during the periods of adverse weather,

-          Protecting birds against being scared by humans,

-          Planting and protecting trees serving as potential breeding locations.

A comprehensive monitoring of the effects of protection, as well as promotional and educational actions will be undertaken. The Project will also contribute to the protection of the European Roller in the future, due to the creation of "National Strategy for the Protection of European Roller" ("Krajowa Strategia Ochrony Kraski") and studies contributing to creation of protection plans, regional plans and estimations of influence exerted on the environment. It is also worth noting that the protection of the European Roller will contribute to the protection of other species, such as Tawny Pipit and Hoopoe.

Further information:

Paweł Szalański
Project Manager

OTOP Birdlife Poland
ul. Odrowąża 24, 05-270 Marki
Tel.: 48 22 761 82 05;
Fax. +48 22 761 90 51.


Zdjęcie w nagłówku: Robert Dróżdż

Nagranie głosku kraski: Marco Dragonetti www.birdsongs.it