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Areas under Natura 2000 regulation

Over and beyond land protected by dedicated Hungarian conservancy regulation, a total of 1.2 million ha of land has been placed under Natura 2000 protection. There is an overlap of 42.4% between the two categories. Protected areas cover a total of 1.99 million hectares (21.4%). Though the designation of the Natura 2000 network was completed in the period 2009-2013, there is still no management plan in place for many pieces of land, and land users operate without the bare minimum of professional expertise. There are 479 special nature conservation areas (1.44 million ha) and 56 special bird protection areas (1.37 million ha) located in the country.

Special Bird Protection Areas

A Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület térképe. A színes mezőkre kattintva megjelenik a területek neve, amelyekről további információ található a http://www.natura.2000.hu oldalon.

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During the designation the rare or endangered species listed in Annex I of the ’Bird Directive’ is concerned first of all. Moreover, special attention has to be paid to the wetlands of international importance, the so called ’Ramsar sites’. Designated areas should, as far as possible, be organized into a coherent network.
Designations in most of the countries, thus in Hungary, too, are based on the criteria system of Important Bird Areas (IBA) developed by BirdLife International, an international organization for the protection of birds.
There are 55 Special Protection Areas designated in Hungary, which became part of the Nature 2000 Network by the enforcement of government decree Nr. 275/2004 (X.8.).

Special Areas of Conservation (SACs)

A Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület térképe
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Annexes of the directive list those species and habitat types of community interest, upon which designation is based. On the contrary of Special Protection Areas, designation of Special Areas of Conservation is an elongated procedure, which includes a series of discussions between the experts of the member state and the European Commission in order to reach agreement. Designation of the Hungarian sites and finalization of the network is still in progress. It will expectedly be completed by 2013 the latest.
The average extension of the Special Areas of Conservation is smaller than that of the Special Protection Areas. In many cases, their size does not exceed a few hundreds of hectares.

Until now 467 sites have been designated. However, further agreements may result in smaller or larger changes, probably regarding not number, but the final border of the sites.