Conservation Status

Conservation Status

The Roller falls within the potentially threatened (Near-threatened) species as a ”Red List” species by the IUCN. It is classified as highly protected in Hungary.

Detailed information on the conservation status of this species can be found on the following link on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) website >>


The European roller population has collapsed throughout Europe. The species has disappeared from conventional breeding places in many countries. Changes in the European roller habitat have had a drastic effect on the populations. It has been proved that different agricultural practices have different effects on the rollers’ breeding success. Dangers associated with wintering places and migration routes might be another important factor in the decline.

Roller breeding habitat (Photo: Zsolt Karcza).

Threats for the roller can be arranged into 4 groups:

Increased mortality:

 Breeding area:

  • Electrocution
  • Road kills
  • Illegal shooting
  • Secondary poisoning (insecticides)

During migration and wintering places:

  • Habitat degradation and loss
  • Secondary poisoning (insecticides)
  • Illegal shooting
  • Illegal trapping

Bird friendly insulation on electric pylon (Photo: Zoltán Orbán).

Loss of suitable nest sites:

  • Intensification of forest management, leading to loss of mature trees
  • Conversion of natural forest
  • Clearing of riverbank trees and riparian forests
  • Decreasing numbers of large woodpeckers (green and black woodpecker)
  • Loss of solitary trees and alleys of old trees

Decreased size of foraging habitat:

  • Land abandonment/reduced-management of meadows and pastures
  • Increasing homogeneity leading to large land parcels
  • Intensification of grassland management
  • Conversion of permanent grasslands to other land use

Grazing creates a suitable habitat (Photo: Csaba Lóki).

Decreased quality of foraging habitat:

  • Use of insecticides
  • Decreased food availability
  • Use of herbicides


Conservation Plan

Short term conservation actions

  • Installation of artificial nest-boxes
  • Conservation of solitary stands and avenues of old trees
  • Research work
  • Conservation of existing foraging places

Long-term conservation actions

  • Plantation of softwood forests and groves
  • Developing of river flat-related agricultural and forest environmental farming practices
  • Plantation of solitary trees, and stands or avenues of trees
  • Developing the sustainability of foraging places (grazing and hayfields)

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