We recorded the highest number of Great Bustards in Romania over the past decade: 40 individuals in Salonta, Bihor County.
The Great Bustard in Romania
A timeline on the status of the Great Bustard on the territory of today’s Romania
According to our field monitoring observations from the last 13 years, in the area of Salonta (Bihor county) there is a cross-border population that includes around 40-50 individuals.
After the 1990s
The Great Bustard is thought to be extinct in Romania
Around 48 individuals
scattered across the country's so called "hunting grounds", as it is still considered a game species
Around 200 individuals
in the areas of Crișana, Banat and the Walachian Plain
The nationalization and early communist era
grasslands are tilled and converted into farmlands. The natural habitat of the species is compromised. Around 2,300 bustards in the 1960s
the number of Great Bustards continues to decline
Records of 740 bustards killed
across the country in 1938. In the rainy winter days, the birds, unable to fly, are beaten to death by peasants.
The Natural Monuments Act
is adopted for the protection of the natural heritage in Romania. It is meant to preserve the rarest species of plants and animals. The Great Bustard is one of them.
The Land Reform
peasants are granted lands as the large estates are divided. The bustard populations are plummeting.
in Banat, Dobrogea and the Wallachian Plain. The species has disappeared from The Transylvanian Plateau. Records of about 5,000 individuals at the beginning of the century
in Banat, Crișana, the Transylvanian Plateau, the Wallachian Plain, Dobruja and in a few other places in Moldavia
Dmitry Kantemir, prince of Moldavia, but also a scientist, humanist and a scholar, refers to the Great Bustard as a "common species" in Moldavia.
Great Bustard meat is served at one of János Zápolya's banquets, voivode (governor) of Transylvania. Records of the species also in the Banat Plain.
Neolithic bone tools
Archaeological excavations in the Tisza Plain and in Salca-Oradea reveal Great Bustard bones, probably used as tools