Distribución y censo

Internacional

La avutarda presenta probablemente la distribución más amplia de todas las especies de aves en peligro: desde la Península Ibérica y Marruecos en el Atlántico hasta la costa pacifica de China cubre una distancia de aproximadamente 10.000 km.

La población mundial es de unos 44.000 a 51.000 individuos (Palacin & Alonso 2008). La mayoría de ellos, de 38.000 a 47.000 ejemplares, vive en Europa. Los lugares con mayor presencia de la avutarda son la meseta española, la llanura húngara y Rusia meridional. Cerca de la mitad de la población mundial se halla en España, con unos 30.000 individuos. Hungría presenta, entre los “países MoU” (países que firmaron el “Memorándum de Entendimiento para la conservación y gestión de la población centroeuropea de la avutarda”), la población más grande con unos 1.378 individuos, seguida de Ucrania y de Austria.

Distribución de la avutarda
Distribución de la avutarda

Distribution of the Great Bustard open in Google Earth (requires Google Earth installation)

Tabla: Las poblaciones estimadas de avutarda de Europa en los años 2004 y 2008. 2004 Los datos fueron recolectados durante la internacional " Scientific Symposium on the Great Bustard " en Illmitz, Austria, en septiembre de 2004. Los datos de 2008 fueron recogidos durante la internacional "Second Meeting of the Great Bustard MoU " en Feodosia, Ucrania, en noviembre de 2008.

Geschätzte Populationen der Großtrappe in Europa in den Jahren 2004, 2008 und 2012.
Country 2004 2008 2012
Albania ? 0 ?
Austria 107 - 140 205 - 216 213 - 253
Bulgaria 0 - 10 0 - 6 ?
Croatia 0 0 0
Czech Republic 1 - 6 0 0
Germany 85 110 123
Greece 0 0 0
Hungary 1300 1378 1555
Macedonia ? 0 ?
Moldova 0 0 0
Montenegro 0 0 0
Portugal 1435 1399 1893
Romania ? 0 - 8 9
Russia 8000 - 10.000 6000 - 12000 5000
Serbia 30 - 36 35 - 38 3 - 5
Slovakia 10 0 - 3 0 - 2
Spain 23300 27500 - 30000 29400 - 34400
Turkey 700 - 1200 762 - 1250 400 - 1000
U.K. 0 7 - 15 20
Ukraine 640 - 850 520 - 680 520 - 680
Total 35600 - 38.500 37935 - 47.122 39136 - 44940
Distribución y censo en Europa en 2008
Distribución y censo en Europa en 2008

Originalmente la avutarda vivía en zonas esteparias. Los fósiles muestran que ya en la era postglacial ocupaba las estepas frías de Europa central. Más tarde, el avance del bosque en gran parte de Europa redujo en gran medida su hábitat, hasta que las enormes deforestaciones en la Europa medieval (y hasta el siglo XIX) hicieron de la avutarda un animal común en terrenos agrícolas de toda Europa. En los siglos XVII y XVIII alcanzó su distribución más amplia en el continente: en 1800 las avutardas ocupaban en grandes números numerosas y vastas zonas agrícolas de Europa. Los hábitats de cría se extendían hacia el oeste hasta Inglaterra y Escocia y hacia el norte hasta Dinamarca y Suecia meridional, mientras que en Rusia la distribución alcanzaba 500 km más hacia el norte en comparación con la actual.
Con el abandono del sistema medieval de la rotación de cultivos disminuyó la variedad de recursos alimenticios para la avutarda. A partir de la segunda mitad del siglo XIX la agricultura se intensificó y se construyeron tendidos eléctricos (de alta y media tensión), motivos por los cuales las poblaciones del continente fueron decreciendo rápidamente, llegándose a extinguir muchas de ellas. Desaparecieron en primer lugar las poblaciones situadas en los límites occidental (Inglaterra, 1845) y septentrional (Suecia, 1862) de su distribución, zonas en las que a las causas referidas anteriormente se sumaba un clima poco favorable. En Inglaterra hace pocos años que se inició un costoso programa de reintroducción.

West-Pannonian region

Location of the study area „West-Pannonian region”
Location of the study area „West-Pannonian region” (black line; 45,000 km²) in East Austria (A; 8.649 km²), Hungary (H; 22.195 km²), Slovakia (SK, 10.176 km²) and the Czech Republic (CZ; 3.971 km²). Extensive research was carried out at the 7 main study a

Extensive research was carried out at the 7 main study areas Westliches Weinviertel (WW), Marchfeld (MF), Rauchenwarther Platte (RP), Heideboden (HB), Parndorfer Platte (PP), Mosonszolnok (MS) and Hanság (HA); source: Raab et al. (2010).

Distribution of the West-Pannonian population of Great Bustard around 1970
Distribution of the West-Pannonian population of Great Bustard around 1970 (1964-1975; black area in total approx. 2.895 km², of that approx. 1.419 km² in A, approx. 710 km² in H, approx. 696 km² in SK and approx. 69 km² in CZ); source: Raab et al. (2010)

(1964-1975; black area in total approx. 2.895 km², of that approx. 1.419 km² in A, approx. 710 km² in H, approx. 696 km² in SK and approx. 69 km² in CZ); source: Raab et al. (2010).

Distribution of the West-Pannonian population of Great Bustard around 1995
Distribution of the West-Pannonian population of Great Bustard around 1995 (1990-1999; black area in total approx. 419 km², of that approx. 213 km² in A, approx. 142 km² in H, approx. 52 km² in SK and approx. 12 km² in CZ); source: Raab et al. (2010).

(1990-1999; black area in total approx. 419 km², of that approx. 213 km² in A, approx. 142 km² in H, approx. 52 km² in SK and approx. 12 km² in CZ); source: Raab et al. (2010).

Distribution of the West-Pannonian population of Great Bustard around 2005
Distribution of the West-Pannonian population of Great Bustard around 2005 (2000-2009; black area in total approx. 515 km², of that approx. 336 km² in A, approx. 132 km² in H, approx. 32 km² in SK and approx. 15 km² in CZ); source: Raab et al. (2010).

(2000-2009; black area in total approx. 515 km², of that approx. 336 km² in A, approx. 132 km² in H, approx. 32 km² in SK and approx. 15 km² in CZ); source: Raab et al. (2010).

Comparison of the distribution of the West-Pannonian population of Great Bustard between 1970 (black area) and 2005 (grey area, see Figure further up); source: Raab et al. (2010).
Comparison of the distribution of the West-Pannonian population of Great Bustard between 1970 (black area) and 2005 (grey area, see Figure further up); source: Raab et al. (2010).

The West Pannonian population of the Great Bustard showed a marked decline in numbers from a total of at least 3,500 individuals in 1900 to about 130 in 1995. Factors implicated in this decline are habitat changes caused mainly by agricultural transformations and the development of human infrastructures (particularly high and medium voltage power lines), but also hunting pressure. As a result of intensive and cross-border protective measures the population recovered from the low in 1996 to a population of at least 442 individuals in winter 2011/2012.

Wintering numbers of the West Pannonian population of the Great Bustard between 1990 and 2010 (numbers for 1900 to 1990 estimated), data source: Raab et al. (2010) and own data.
Wintering numbers of the West Pannonian population of the Great Bustard between 1990 and 2010 (numbers for 1900 to 1990 estimated), data source: Raab et al. (2010) and own data.

Within the last years, the West Pannonian population of the Great Bustard has increased significantly. That means the number of females has increased from 80 in 1996 to more than 200 in 2011.Also the number of males has increased during the same period, from 50 individuals to around 130.

Numbers of the West-Pannonian population of Great Bustard (population size at breeding season as well as fledged juvenile Great Bustards that were still alive in September) between 1996 and 2011: Raab et al. (2010) and own
Numbers of the West-Pannonian population of Great Bustard (population size at breeding season as well as fledged juvenile Great Bustards that were still alive in September) between 1996 and 2011: Raab et al. (2010) and own

Austria

La población austriaca de avutardas se encuentra en el borde noroccidental del tercer núcleo más grande de la población europea (el de la llanura húngara). Los puntos principales de la distribución en Austria están en Niederösterreich (Baja Austria), donde se encuentran en Westliches Weinviertel (comarca de los vinos occidental), Marchfeld (campos del March) y Rauchenwarther Platte  (meseta de Rauchenwarth) y en Burgenland, donde se encuentran en Heideboden, Parndorfer Platte (meseta de Parndorf) y en Hanság en el Parque Nacional Seewinkel.

La población de avutardas declinó en Austria desde los 700-800 individuos en el año 1942 a 150-170 a comienzos de los setenta (1970-1972), unos 100 a finales de los setenta (1978) y unos 60 a finales del siglo XX. Durante la época de cría de 2008 se encontraron unos 210 individuos en Austria, debido a la ligera recuperación de la población del Weinviertel y a la recolonización de las zonas de anidación fronterizas con Hungría occidental.

Since 1995 numerous special Great Bustard protection fields have been created within the framework of ÖPUL (Austrian programme for an environmentally appropriate, extensive and natural habitat friendly agriculture). During the years 1995 to 2000, their extend was around 300 ha and has increased to around 5.000 ha since 2003. Within the last years, also the number of Great Bustards living in Austria has increased to approximately 259 individuals (breeding time 2010).

Diagrama: la avutarda en Austria en el años1940 y en el periodo1970-2010. Fuente: Raab et al. (2010).
Diagrama: la avutarda en Austria en el años1940 y en el periodo1970-2010. Fuente: Raab et al. (2010).

(numbers of individuals during the breeding season) in Eastern Austria between 1940 and 2010 (blue column), and the total area of ÖPUL-Great bustard protection fields between 1996 and 2010 (red column); data source: Raab et al. (2010) and own data

In the period since 1990, populations in two Austrian areas increased markedly, in the Heideboden and the Western Weinviertel. In the Hanság, Parndorfer Platte and Rauchenwarther Platte areas the populations remained more or less stable at a low level over the same period. In the Marchfeld area the population decreased drastically from 25 to 6 individuals from 1990 to 2000, subsequently stabilising at a low level and most recently beginning to show a slight upward trend again. In the Vienna basin south of the river Danube small breeding populations persisted into the second half of the 20th century. Only individual breeding occurrences now remain on the Rauchenwarther Platte. Not counting this site, there were more than 100 bustards in the Vienna basin around 1940; numbers dropped to only 2 individuals in 1990 and the population has become extinct since.

Table: Development of Great Bustard numbers (individuals) in Austria by sites.
 

ca. 1940

ca. 1970

ca. 1980

1990

1996

2000

2003

2006

2010

2012

2014

Western Weinviertel

294-387

23-27

20-27

15-20

22

35

40

53

(59-)60

55(-56)

54(-56)

Marchfeld

55

47

25

12

6

8

5

9

5-7

5(-7)

Vienna Basin

> 100

15-25

2-3

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Rauchenwarther Platte

ca. 20

7-8

2

4

1

1

2

0

0

0

0

Heideboden (Austrian part)

300-400

ca. 20 ?

3-4 ?

0

1

14

34-67

76-93

130-155

117-145

190-264

Parndorfer Platte

20-30

12

6

6

8

9-10

8

24-26

13-19

12-21

Mosonszolnok (Austrian part)

?

?

?

0

0

0

0

0

1

 

Hansag (Austrian part)

40-50

ca. 40

16

14-16

10-14

16-17

24-27

20-22

22-25

14-16

Eastern Austria total

700-800

150-170

ca. 130

68-73

56-58

74-78

109-144

166-186

244-274

213-253

275-364

Source: Raab et al. (2010) and own data.

In December of 2002, around 200 Great Bustards were counted in Austria for the first time in a long period, because part of the Hungarian and Slovakian populations close to the border were staying in the attractive wintering grounds of Burgenland. In January and February of 2004 numbers even rose to 219 birds, 176 out of which were counted in northern Burgenland alone. At the same time a further 32 bustards stayed on the Hungarian side close to the border, making the total for the West-Pannonian population, i.e. the cross-border Austro-Hungarian-Slovak-Czech population 251 Great Bustards in winter 2003/04.

In February 2012 a total of 442 bustards were observed. Winter numbers of the West-Pannonian population therefore increased from 129 in 1995/96 to at least 442 in 2011/12. That many Great Bustards could not be observed in that region for 30 years! During the past winters nearly the whole West-Pannonian population of Great Bustard could be found in the attractive wintering grounds of Burgenland and Lower Austria. Long since a good deal more than 300 bustards could be found in Austria for the last few winters.

Population numbers of the West-Pannonian Great Bustard population in winter in the period 1995/96 to 2011/2012; source: Raab et al. (2010) an down data.
Population numbers of the West-Pannonian Great Bustard population in winter in the period 1995/96 to 2011/2012; source: Raab et al. (2010) an down data.

Detailed information on population development of Great Bustard in Austria as well as the whole West-Pannonian population can be found in the publication of Raab et. al (2010), which was published in March 2010 in “Egretta”, the scientific journal of BirdLife Austria. Information about implemented conservation projects can be found there as well.
Citation: Raab, R., Kollar, H. P., Winkler, H., Faragó, S., Spakovszky, P., Chavko, J., Maderič, B., Škorpíková, V., Patak, E., Wurm, H., Julius, E., Raab S. and Schütz, C. (2010): Die Bestandsentwicklung der westpannonischen Population der Großtrappe, Otis tarda Linnaeus 1758, von 1900 bis zum Winter 2008/2009. Egretta 51: 74-99.

Egretta im März 2010 (pdf, 1,2 MB)

Numerous informations and pictures you will find in the illustrated book „Die Großtrappe in Mitteleuropa. Erfolgreicher Schutz der westpannonischen Population“ from Raab, R., Kovacs, F. J., Julius, E., Raab, S., Schütz, C., Spakovszky, P. und Timar, J., which was produced in 2010 within the LIFE project. The number of copies is 1,500. The printing costs were paid from the project partner Austrian Power Grid AG.
Citation: Raab, R., Kovacs, F. J., Julius, E., Raab, S., Schütz, C., Spakovszky, P. und Timar, J. (2010): Die Großtrappe in Mitteleuropa. Erfolgreicher Schutz der westpannonischen Population. APG, Wien, 304 S.

Illustrated book “Die Großtrappe in Mitteleuropa. Erfolgreicher Schutz der westpannonischen Population"

Part 1: hardcover (1,2 MB)

Part 2: core (16,5 MB)