Monitoring Important Bird Areas in Moldova to improve conservation management

Vitalie Ajder

Moldova is a small country at the eastern border of the European Union where development takes priority over environmental issues. Moldovan biodiversity is still in good condition due to the continued practice of traditional agricultural techniques which has allowed natural and semi-natural habitats to remain largely intact. There are 12 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) designated in Moldova but information about these areas is incomplete and out of date. There is no data on the numbers of bird species using these areas and habitat data is scarce. During the project we will survey the IBAs and 10 additional areas which we believe could became IBAs to obtain good quality data about the breeding, migrating and wintering birds which are using them. We will also conduct educational activities, especially in universities, to promote nature protection and birdwatching. The IBA documentation and new proposals will be sent to BirdLife International for their approval. Our project will contribute to the IBA network developing in Eastern Europe. This project will be a big step forward in conserving birds and nature in the Republic of Moldova.