The remaining population of Great Bustards in northern Europe is situated quite close to Berlin at 3 sites in the State of Brandenburg. In 1996 only 55 birds remained and extinction seemed likely. However, with a combination of habitat protection and restoration and a re-introduction programme, the numbers have increased to 150. As well as habitat loss and human disturbance, threats include predation by foxes, Goshawks,
Ravens and eagles. In recent years the increase in White-tailed Eagles has had a significant effect. There is now a new hazard. At Pessin, which is close to the main West Havelland site, the construction of a Biogas plant is planned. This will mean the cultivation of large areas of maize. At present, much of this is feeding territory for Bustards and its loss will represent further reduction of suitable habitat. For further information see Bustard news.
Full information on seeing Great Bustards in Germany can be found in the Guide to Brandenburg and Berlin. (see information page)