Green Circle, Magyar Természetvédők Szövetsége / Friends of the Earth Hungary

Establishing and managing locally protected areas and protecting birds in Hajdúság

Antal Molnár has been playing a key role in the Hungarian nature protection movement for 23 years. He was a founder of Green Circle in Hajdúböszörmény, a local member group of Friends of the Earth Hungary / Magyar Természetvédők Szövetsége, which does important biodiversity protection work in the famous and biodiverse “Puszta” grasslands in Hajdúság.

The plains of Hajdúság are home to numerous areas that require local protection for their unique flora and fauna. One of them, the Nagy-nyerges meadow, is particularly important for its remarkable birdlife, which includes ferruginous ducks, marsh harriers, and great egrets. Meanwhile, the Disznóshát grassland is host to a huge variety of botanical diversity, including the protected hog’s fennel, which is a feeding plant of the rare fisher’s estuarine moth.

Most of these areas would be destroyed without special protection efforts. Antal and his colleagues realised this, and started programmes to preserve these areas and the precious biodiversity they host.

After careful observations and monitoring of the areas around Hajdúböszörmény, Antal and his colleagues identified some areas with unique species and habitats that require protection. Among others they recommended nominating both the Partos and Nagy-nyerges meadows and the Disznoshát grassland for local protection status. Beyond this, Antal and his colleagues also monitor and engage in the ecological management of these areas. A few years ago they found pair of rare white-tailed eagles nesting in a logging area nearby to the Disznoshát grassland. After alerting the authorities, the forest-clearing project was immediately halted and an order was put through for more environmentally sensitive forest management.

“The protection of biodiversity is close to my heart, and now we can say some successes have been achieved in Hajdúság. Had we not protected these areas, no-one else would have, so they would have been destroyed.”ANTAL MOLNÁR

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