Restoration of Habitats of European Roller is a Way to Conserve Biodiversity in Belarus

Restoration of Habitats of European Roller is a Way to Conserve Biodiversity in Belarus

Project Animal(s) : European Roller
Project Category : Birds
Project Region : Europe
Project Type : Conservation
Project URL : https://www.rufford.org/projects/maxim_tarantovich_1
Project is timebound? : Yes

Project Start Date : March 1, 2018

Northern European populations of the Roller have shown the most dramatic declines in recent years. The species has gone extinct in Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and northern part of its range in Russia in the past century. The Roller was rather numerous and common species in Belarus till the1970-s. Cutting down of old forests and wide use of insecticides in agriculture were the mains reasons of catastrophic population decline for this species. The population of the Roller in Belarus is not more than 20 pairs now. Nevertheless, Belarus and a number of European countries are making efforts to restore the number of the Roller, according to a new international action plan. In case of successful activities, it is possible to restore of the Rollers nesting area. In this case to protection and restore habitats of the species is the main goal on our side, along with the implementation of biotechnical measures to increase of the breeding success of the Roller in Belarus.

Analysis of the Rollers nesting area in south of Belarus showed their extreme vulnerability. The old floodplain oak forests are one of the last habitats of the Roller in Belarus, but have not a natural growth of young trees. This type of biotope can disappear when old oaks will die. Planting oak seedlings, with their protection of them from cattle and wild animals, will create a regenerating youth and will save this biotope to hundreds of years ahead.

According to the results obtained from previous Rufford project, one of the major limiting factors is a lack of nutrition. As a result of this project we have created conditions for attracting and breeding large beetles which are the main source of Roller supply. The work will continue to assess the effectiveness of the biotechnical measures. These measures will be introduced into the list of activities carried out by the forestry enterprises, if they are found to be effective.

We will reduce the deficit of natural hollows needed for nesting of Roller and create new places for nesting. Protection of broods from Martens and reducing the impact of ectoparasites will improve breeding success.

Press coverage of the planting oak seedlings, involvement of local community to the activity and create of internet-site including an online broadcast from the nest of Roller, will increase public awareness to the importance of Roller protection.

Project Researcher : Maxim Tarantovich

Project Researcher Contact : [email protected]