Natura 2000
In order to preserve the natural heritage the European Union developed a network of protected areas overlapping each of the member states, called "Natura 2000 Network". The development of this network is based on two main directives of the EU: "Habitat Directive 92/43 from 1992 on wild plants, animals and natural habitats" and "Birds Directive 79/409 from 1979 on birds' species conservation".

Habitats Directive was created to conserve the wild species of plants and animals and also the natural habitats in the European Union through the establishment of Special Areas of
Natura 2000

Conservation. All the actions based on this directive are focused on maintaining a favorable conservation status or the recovering of the listed species and habitats. All the conservation measures should take into account the social and economical aspects on regional and local level.

Habitats Directive

Birds Directive relates to the conservation of all species of naturally occurring birds in the wilderness in the European territory of the member states. The main aims of this directive are the protection, management and control of these species and it lays down rules for their conservation. It shall apply to birds, their eggs, nests and habitats. The member states should declare the Special Protection Areas for the conservation of the listed bird species.

Birds Directive

Athene noctua-Cucuvea

Thus, the Natura 2000 network is composed of Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas. 

The main aim of the Life Natura project "Natura 2000 sites in Piatra Craiului National Park" is to designate such Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas and to include the national park in the "Natura 2000 Network".

Piatra Craiului National Park has over 20 bird species included in the annex I of the Birds Directive: Black stork (Ciconia nigra), White Stork (Ciconia ciconia), Honey Buzzard (Pernis apivorus), Black Kite (Milvus migrans), Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), Lesser-spotted Eagle (Aquila pomarina), Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus), Hazel Grouse (Bonasa bonasia), Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo), Pigmy Owl (Glaucidium passerinum), Ural Owl (Strix uralensis), Grey - headed Woodpecker (Picus canus), Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius), White-backed Woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos), Three-toed Woodpecker (Picoides tridactylus), Woodlark (Lullula arborea), Red-breasted Flycatcher (Ficedula parva), Collared Flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis), Red - backed Shrike (Lanius collurio).

Beside these two above-mentioned directives, there are other international conventions focused on birds and their habitats conservation, which Romania also applied, such as: Bern Convention, Ramsar Convention and Bonn Convention.

Bern Convention (1979; Romanian Law no. 77/1998) has as a main objective the conservation of European wild flora, fauna and habitats. It is one of the oldest and the most important conventions on biodiversity conservation in Europe.

Bern Convention

Ramsar Convention (convention of international wetlands priority sites especially for protection of water birds species (1971; Romanian Law no. 5/1991). Its main aim is the maintaining, conservation and the wise use of water resources and wetlands (as costal and inland wetlands, natural and artificial wetlands etc.). This convention has a high importance because in our days the wetlands are one of the most endangered ecosystems. Their surfaces are continually decreasing and degrading physically, chemically and biologically.

Bonn Convention (1979; Romanian Law no. 13 / 1998) refers to the conservation and management of wild migratory animal species in their whole reproductive, migrating and wintering areas due to the vulnerability of these species.