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The Birds Directive (formally known as Council Directive 2009/147/EC on the conservation of wild birds) is a European Union directive adopted in 2009. It replaces Council Directive 79/409/EEC of 2 April 1979 on the conservation of wild birds which was modified several times and had become very unclear. It aims to protect all European wild birds and the habitats of listed species, in particular through the designation of Special Protection Areas (often known by the acronym SPA).
The Birds Directive is one of the EU's two directives in relation to wildlife and nature conservation, the other being the Habitats Directive. The Habitats Directive led to the setting up of a network of Special Areas of Conservation, which together with the existing Special Protection Areas form a network of protected sites across the European Union called Natura 2000. In the UK the Directive is implemented by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
- Jan-Henrik Meyer: 2010. Saving Migrants: a Transnational Network supporting Supranational Bird Protection Policy in the 1970's. In Transnational Networks in Regional Integration. Informal Governance in Europe 1945–83, edited by W. Kaiser, M. Gehler and B. Leucht. Basingstoke. Palgrave, 176–198. ISBN 978-0-230-24169-5, ISBN 0-230-24169-7.
- Jan-Henrik Meyer: Zivilgesellschaftliche Mobilisierung und die frühe europäische Umweltpolitik. Die Vogelschutzrichtlinie der Europäischen Gemeinschaften von 1979. In: Themenportal Europäische Geschichte (2013), URL: http://www.europa.clio-online.de/2013/Article=588.
- Council Directive 79/409/EEC of 2 April 1979 on the conservation of wild birds (Official text of the old directive on EUR-Lex)
- National execution measures of the old directive
- Directive 2009/147/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009 on the conservation of wild birds (Official text on EUR-Lex)
- National execution measures of the new directive
- A page about the Birds Directive at the European Commissions website
- A page about the Birds Directive at the JNCC's website
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