In February this year, Swedish forest owners were facing directives they couldn’t believe. According to several court rulings in 2021, the Species Protection Ordinance had to be strictly followed when it comes to birds and protected species. This meant that the forest owners had to protect every single bird in the forest. A directive that caused many reactions.

protected birds

Protected on individual or population level? Now we know.
Photo: Per Jonsson

About protected birds

Protecting all wild bird species individually seemed to be an impossible task for the forest owners. As we wrote in an article in February, the Swedish Forest Agency claimed they had to follow valid laws, regulations, and rulings. But they also promised to look further into this and come back with more information.

Clarification of rules

And so they did. From the 1st of October 2022, new regulations on the protection of birds are valid. From here on, protection is no longer valid on an individual level, but on a population level. This means that forest owners don’t have to consider every single bird anymore. Something impossible anyway.

However, the forest owner is still obliged to acquire the necessary knowledge to prevent protected species from being affected illegally during felling operations. The forest owner is also still obliged to protect other endangered species of flora and fauna during all forestry operations.

A matter of common sense

I see no problem in that forest owners should take responsibility for environmental issues such as protecting endangered species in their forests. But, if forestry should be operated at all, there must be some common sense. Protecting every bird in a felling operation in any forestry operation is impossible. So, how anyone could come up with that idea is an enigma. I guess this “someone” knows nothing about forestry.

And, for anyone who wonders, forestry didn’t stop in Sweden during the time from February to the 1st of October 2022 because of this. The forest industry is way too important for that.