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Assessing the performance of EU nature legislation in protecting target bird species in an era of climate change

Sanderson, F.J.; Pople, R.G.; Leronymidou, C.; Burfield, I.J.; Gregory, R.D.; Willis, S.G.; Howard, C.; Stephens, P.A.; Beresford, A.E.; Donald, P.F.

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Authors

F.J. Sanderson

R.G. Pople

C. Leronymidou

I.J. Burfield

R.D. Gregory

C. Howard

A.E. Beresford

P.F. Donald



Abstract

International legislation forms a cornerstone of conservation, yet its efficacy is rarely quantified. We assess whether species listed on Annex I of the European Union (EU) Birds Directive, for which EU Member States are obliged to implement special conservation measures, differ systematically in their short-term (2001-2012) or long-term (1980-2012) population trends from those of non-Annex I species. In both periods, Annex I species had more positive trends than non-Annex I species, particularly in countries that joined the EU earlier. There were additional signatures of climate change and life history strategy in the trends of species in one or both periods. Within Annex I species, long-distance migrants fared significantly worse than other species, suggesting that enhanced protection on the breeding grounds alone may be insufficient for these species. We conclude that the EU's conservation legislation has had a demonstrably positive impact on target species, even during a period in which climate change has significantly affected populations.

Citation

Sanderson, F., Pople, R., Leronymidou, C., Burfield, I., Gregory, R., Willis, S., …Donald, P. (2016). Assessing the performance of EU nature legislation in protecting target bird species in an era of climate change. Conservation Letters, 9(3), 172-180. https://doi.org/10.1111/conl.12196

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 14, 2015
Online Publication Date Aug 25, 2015
Publication Date Jun 15, 2016
Deposit Date Jun 1, 2015
Publicly Available Date Apr 7, 2016
Journal Conservation Letters
Publisher Society for Conservation Biology
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Issue 3
Pages 172-180
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/conl.12196

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Published Journal Article (Advance online version) (285 Kb)
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Publisher Licence URL
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Copyright Statement
Advance online version Copyright and Photocopying: © 2015 The Authors. Conservation Letters published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.





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