Restoration of Habitats of European Roller is a Way to Conserve Biodiversity in Belarus

Maxim Tarantovich

Other projects

26 Mar 2012

Revelation of Viability and Furtherance of Conditions which will Help Population and Range Expansion of Roller in Belarus

12 Mar 2014

Research and Conservation of European Roller (Coracias garrulus) in Belarus

29 Mar 2016

Conservation of European Roller (Coracias garrulus) in Belarus

The aims of the project:

- the restorative planting and protection of oak seedlings
- To create new nesting sites and increase the Roller breeding success.

- To assess the effectiveness of biotechnical measures to improve the fodder base of Roller and introduce it into the list of activities of the forestry enterprises in case of success.

- Improving public awareness about Roller through creation of Internet-site including an online broadcast from the Roller nest.

- The inspection and monitoring of known and potential breeding sites of the Roller.

- Revealing of post-breeding dispersion, migration and biological features of the Roller.

- Preparation of security obligations for new sites of Roller nesting.


Northern European populations of the Roller have shown the most dramatic declines in recent years. The species has gone extinct in Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and northern part of its range in Russia in the past century. The Roller was rather numerous and common species in Belarus till the1970-s. Cutting down of old forests and wide use of insecticides in agriculture were the mains reasons of catastrophic population decline for this species. The population of the Roller in Belarus is not more than 20 pairs now. Nevertheless, Belarus and a number of European countries are making efforts to restore the number of the Roller, according to a new international action plan. In case of successful activities, it is possible to restore of the Rollers nesting area. In this case to protection and restore habitats of the species is the main goal on our side, along with the implementation of biotechnical measures to increase of the breeding success of the Roller in Belarus.


Analysis of the Rollers nesting area in south of Belarus showed their extreme vulnerability. The old floodplain oak forests are one of the last habitats of the Roller in Belarus, but have not a natural growth of young trees. This type of biotope can disappear when old oaks will die. Planting oak seedlings, with their protection of them from cattle and wild animals, will create a regenerating youth and will save this biotope to hundreds of years ahead.

According to the results obtained from previous Rufford project, one of the major limiting factors is a lack of nutrition. As a result of this project we have created conditions for attracting and breeding large beetles which are the main source of Roller supply. The work will continue to assess the effectiveness of the biotechnical measures. These measures will be introduced into the list of activities carried out by the forestry enterprises, if they are found to be effective.

We will reduce the deficit of natural hollows needed for nesting of Roller and create new places for nesting. Protection of broods from Martens and reducing the impact of ectoparasites will improve breeding success.

Press coverage of the planting oak seedlings, involvement of local community to the activity and create of internet-site including an online broadcast from the nest of Roller, will increase public awareness to the importance of Roller protection.

Project Updates