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BirdLife Hungary

SOME INFORMATIONS ABOUT OUR SOCIETY

The Hungarian Ornithological and Nature Conservation Society (abbr. MME, founded on the 6th January 1974) is the most important civil nature conservation organization in Hungary, with more than 7000 members and several thousand sympathizers. MME is represented in the whole scale of the bird- and nature conservation, such as in data collecting and processing; in organizing and carrying out conservation activity; in handling areas that are rich in natural value and also takes part in nature awareness education. The operational area for the Komárom-Esztergom County Group is the whole area of the county, except for the Pilis-mountains. Just like in the whole country, the basis of our activity is the membership, which does voluntary work, sacrificing their free time in the service of nature. Because of this, MME has been a “Prominent Organization of Public Utility” since 1998!
Please support MME that is working for humans and nature!

PROTECTION OF BIRDS OF PREY

The protection of the drastically decreased raptor-population is a top priority task for our Society. This status was mainly generated by the nest-stealing, disappearance of nesting areas, intended and accidental hunting, disturbance and other human actions. Our Society has a clear view on the distribution of the protected raptors and also on the endangering factors and we pay special attention to the Saker and Imperial Eagle that already cannot be found as breeding species anywhere to the West of Hungary. Placing artificial nests, checking and guarding known nests, nursing and repatriation of injured birds, handling habitats and continuous monitoring are all destined to increase the numbers of the „lords of the sky”.

BARN OWL PROTECTION

Our Society is doing this job together with the Barn Owl Protection Foundation, in order to protect the Barn Owl, that is breeding in churches and abandoned buildings. Church-renovations that were carried out in the last decade made an unfavourable impact on this owl species. During the renovations, the steeples and attics were no longer accessible to the pigeons and bats that had been nested there. Our activists try to moderate this disadvantageous protectional situation by placing out breeding boxes and partially opening the roof.

WHITE STORK PROTECTION

Regarding the numbers of the white stork pairs, Hungary is second in the world! The Hungarian population can be estimated at 5 500 pairs and thanks to the protective actions made in the last two decades, nowadays it can be considered stable. Because of the unfavourable natural endowments and the disappearance/decrease of the wetlands as feeding areas, only a few (34 pairs) White Storks nest in our county. The members of our Group have been monitoring the stork population, the condition of the nests and the endangering factors every year. With the contribution of EON ZRt. we have placed out several dozen safe artificial nests on dangerous electrical poles for our storks.

WATER-FOWL PROTECTION

In the place of the former huge marshlands of Komárom-Esztergom County, several important artificial habitats have developed since the XV century, attracting crowds of water-fowl. Important living-, wintering and stop-over sites are for the water-fowls: the Old Lake in Tata (belonging to the Ramsar Convention), the county reaches of the Danube, the Ferencmajor and the Réti fish ponds, and the Bokod cooling lake. In autumn and in winter, tens of thousands of wild geese, wild ducks and gulls take a rest on these important bird-habitats. The proportion of the different bird species, their age, the status of the habitats, the disturbing effects are regularly observed by our activists and they also check the ethical and nature conservation purity of the waterfowl-hunters. With our suggestions we contribute to the conservation of the natural values.

BEE-EATER AND SANDMARTIN PROTECTION

Due to the enthusiastic work of the members, about 70% of the county-area is covered, from where we have data on the population and breeding sites of these 2 bird species, that breed in loess- and sand-walls. Possessing these data, we managed to make several neglected walls suitable for nesting again. The most important thing at these especially sensitive habitats is to promote them to be declared nature protected and in the case of operating mines, environmental and bird-friendly farming has to be encouraged.

NATURE EDUCATION

Nature-awareness education is one of the most important teaching task of our age. Our program is to complete the biology education with classes and lectures with slideshows at schools, and elsewhere with guided excursions, where there is possibility to observe directly the birds and other animals, and nature. Our nature camps, cooperative relations with forestry-colleges, and also our newsletter written for our members and supporters are all destined for this aim.

ORGANIZING NATURAL CAMPS AND PROGRAMMES

Our Society has organized traditionally in every August its usual “Ferenc Hopp” Natural Camp since 1991, at the Ferencmajor fishponds, close to Naszály village. Here participants have the possibility to get to know in more detail the wildlife (and especially the birdlife) of this area and beside this, the camp is an important meeting point for the birders and conservationists from all over the country. It’s worth mentioning also the famous “International Birdwatching Day”, the “Day of the Birds and Trees”, and the “International Wetlands Day”, where every member and inquirer is met with specialist-led activities. Beside these, our group also participates in several other programmes organized in the county (e.g. “Water, Music, Flower Festival in Tata”, “Fishing Days”), where, among others, bird-observing demonstration, consultancy and publication-selling takes place.

BIRD RINGING

One traditional studying method of the ornithology is bird-ringing, which has been operating within the Hungarian Ornithological Society (MME). The central recording of the data, so as keeping contact with the foreign organizations, are carried out by the Ringing Centre. Regular breeding and migrating bird-marking has been done in our county in the surroundings of Ács, Komárom, Sárisáp-Annavölgy, Ferencmajor fishponds, and the Réti fishponds. Close to 6000 individuals of 120 bird species are marked yearly by our qualified ringers.

MONITORING OF NON PROTECTED AND PROTECTED NATURE AREAS

Our Society has been doing detailed natural values exploring work around the Northern Vértes mountains, Bársonyos, Kisalföld, Danube islands, in the surroundings of Tatabánya and in the valley of the Által-ér, where we make suggestions for declaring protected the areas worthy of protection. Thanks to this programme, certain areas became part of the Gerecse Region and we also participated when proposing the declaration of larger protection ares around the villages of Bokod, Kocs, Naszály and Tát. When making the inventory of local points of natural value we found many flower species that were previously thought to be extinct on a county or country level.

MONITORING PLANTS, BUTTERFLIES, REPTILES, AMPHIBIA

MME can not only act successfully on the behalf of birds, but also of other animal groups. In certain regions we have been monitoring in detail the distribution of the aforementioned animal groups and plants, the changes in their population-relation and the negative effects on them. Our Society has incorporates these far-reaching activities in its name, too.

Email: mme24@freemail.hu

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