The Great Bustard in Romania

A timeline on the status of the Great Bustard on the territory of today’s Romania

2020

Nowadays

Nowadays

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.

1998

After the 1990s

The Great Bustard is thought to be extinct in Romania

After the 1990s

1988

Around 48 individuals

Around 48 individuals

scattered across the country's so called "hunting grounds", as it is still considered a game species

1979

Around 200 individuals

in the areas of Crișana, Banat and the Walachian Plain

Around 200 individuals

1948

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

1940

Mechanised agriculture

the number of Great Bustards continues to decline

1938

Records of 740 bustards killed

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.

1930

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.

1921

The Land Reform

peasants are granted lands as the large estates are divided. The bustard populations are plummeting.

20th century

Falling numbers

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

Falling numbers

19th century

Stable populations

Stable populations

in Banat, Crișana, the Transylvanian Plateau, the Wallachian Plain, Dobruja and in a few other places in Moldavia

18th century

1705

Dmitry Kantemir, prince of Moldavia, but also a scientist, humanist and a scholar, refers to the Great Bustard as a "common species" in Moldavia.

1705

16th century

1522

1522

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.

6000-4000 BC

Neolithic bone tools

Archaeological excavations in the Tisza Plain and in Salca-Oradea reveal Great Bustard bones, probably used as tools

Neolithic bone tools