• Open Access

Mixed Effects of Long-Term Conservation Investment in Natura 2000 Farmland

Authors

  • Joana Santana,

    Corresponding author
    1. CIBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos / InBIO, Universidade do Porto, Campus Agrário de Vairão, Rua Padre Armando Quintas, Vairão, Portugal
    • Correspondence Joana Santana, CIBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos/InBIO, Universidade do Porto, Campus Agrário de Vairão, Rua Padre Armando Quintas, 4485-601 Vairão, Portugal. Tel: + 351 252 660411; fax: +351 252 661780. E-mail: joanafsantana@cibio.up.pt

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  • Luís Reino,

    1. CIBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos / InBIO, Universidade do Porto, Campus Agrário de Vairão, Rua Padre Armando Quintas, Vairão, Portugal
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  • Chris Stoate,

    1. Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, Allerton Project, Loddington House, Loddington, UK
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  • Rui Borralho,

    1. ERENA, Ordenamento e Gestão de Recursos Naturais, SA, Rua Robalo Gouveia, 1900–392 Lisboa, Portugal
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  • Carlos Rio Carvalho,

    1. ERENA, Ordenamento e Gestão de Recursos Naturais, SA, Rua Robalo Gouveia, 1900–392 Lisboa, Portugal
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  • Stefan Schindler,

    1. CIBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos / InBIO, Universidade do Porto, Campus Agrário de Vairão, Rua Padre Armando Quintas, Vairão, Portugal
    2. Department of Conservation Biology, Vegetation & Landscape Ecology, University of Vienna, A-1030 Vienna, Austria
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  • Francisco Moreira,

    1. CEABN, Centro de Ecologia Aplicada “Professor Baeta Neves”/InBIO, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade de Lisboa, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349–017 Lisboa, Portugal
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  • Miguel N. Bugalho,

    1. CEABN, Centro de Ecologia Aplicada “Professor Baeta Neves”/InBIO, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade de Lisboa, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349–017 Lisboa, Portugal
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  • Paulo Flores Ribeiro,

    1. CEF – Centro de Estudos Florestais, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade de Lisboa, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349–017 Lisboa, Portugal
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  • José Lima Santos,

    1. CEF – Centro de Estudos Florestais, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade de Lisboa, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349–017 Lisboa, Portugal
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  • Alexandre Vaz,

    1. CIBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos / InBIO, Universidade do Porto, Campus Agrário de Vairão, Rua Padre Armando Quintas, Vairão, Portugal
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  • Rui Morgado,

    1. ERENA, Ordenamento e Gestão de Recursos Naturais, SA, Rua Robalo Gouveia, 1900–392 Lisboa, Portugal
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  • Miguel Porto,

    1. CIBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos / InBIO, Universidade do Porto, Campus Agrário de Vairão, Rua Padre Armando Quintas, Vairão, Portugal
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  • Pedro Beja

    1. CIBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos / InBIO, Universidade do Porto, Campus Agrário de Vairão, Rua Padre Armando Quintas, Vairão, Portugal
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  • Editor András Báldi

Abstract

Evaluating the effectiveness of conservation funding is crucial for correct allocation of limited resources. Here we used bird monitoring data to assess the effects of long-term conservation investment in a Natura 2000 (N2000) bird protection area (PA), which during two decades benefited from protection regulations, conservation projects, and agri-environment schemes. Variation between 1995–1997 and 2010–2012 in richness and abundance of flagship (Otis tarda, Tetrax tetrax, and Falco naumanni) and specialized fallow field species were more favorable (i.e., increased more or declined less) inside the PA than in a nearby control area. However, the reverse was found for total bird species, farmland, ground-nesting and steppe species, species associated to ploughed fields, and species of European conservation concern. Enhancing the effectiveness of conservation investment in N2000 farmland may require a greater focus on the wider biodiversity alongside that currently devoted to flagship species, as well as improved matching between conservation and agricultural policies.

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