Special Protection Areas

Special Protection Areas (SPA) are established for bird species listed in Annex 1 to Council Directive 2009/147/EC (this is the codified version of Directive 79/409/EEC as amended) (Article 4.1) and migratory species regularly present in EU Member States (Article 4.2). Based on expert criteria, derived from the criteria for the establishment of Important Bird Areas in the EU, 41 SPAs for 41 Annex 1 species and 6 migratory species were proposed in the Czech Republic. All 41 of the proposed SPAs have been established.

Under Act no. 114/1992 Coll. on the Nature and Landscape Protection, Special Protection Areas enjoy a general protection regime, i.e., the SPAs are not a category of a specially protected area and the law sets no general protection conditions for them. The SPAs are declared via Government Orders, while each of the Government Order may define activities which need to be approved by a nature protection authority in order to secure their protection (i.e., maintenance of populations of the species for which the SPA is established at favourable rates in respect of conservation). Such activities enable the nature protection authority to carry out an administrative procedure to define specific conditions that have to be observed by such activities to prevent negative impacts on the populations of the species under protection in the SPAs. The protection conditions, defined in Sets of Recommended Measures, are directly linked to secure the protection of biotopes relevant for the species under protection in the SPAs, as well as securing peace for the given birds during their respective nesting periods, summer and autumn gatherings, and wintering.