Only seventeen stork nests still in use in the entire country. Vogelbescherming Nederland starts a re-introduction programme to preserve the White Stork as a breeding bird in the Netherlands, opening breeding station Het Liesveld near Groot-Ammers.
The first additional breeding stations are started at Herwijnen and Eernewoude.
1979 - 1995:
10 more breeding stations in suitable areas across the Netherlands. Active breeding programme, aiming to have as many nestlings as possible grow into maturity. Nestlings from breeding stations are migrating to Africa. Nestlings from the Liesveld station are kept in captivity to stock the breeding stations. Active feeding programme around the breeding stations. Nesting stork pairs slowly spread out further away from the breeding stations --> growth of the free population.
1995 - 2000:
Shift in programme focus, from building up numbers to improvement of the habitat so that storks may become independent of the stations. Further and more rapid growth of the stork population in the Netherlands.
2000 - 2004:
Ending the active breeding programme; no more young kept in captivity for breeding. The old breeding station Het Liesveld near Groot-Ammers is transformed into a visitors' centre for the region with storks as the main theme. Slow build-off of the active feeding programme; each breeding station to its own speed and according to local findings. Breeding stations are shifting their aims from breeding to information programmes, often in the wider perspective of offering education and supporting local initiatives to improve the environmental conditions for storks in the region. National interest for habitat improvement increases, not only for storks, but also for other birds, aiming to let all species benefit. Projects in areas such as watermeadows along the rivers, new wetlands, and extensively used grasslands seem most likely to be succesful since they most closely resemble original stork habitat. Fast growth in numbers of nesting pairs, and spreading out across the Netherlands again. Rehabitation of old nesting sites and a lot of new nests built by storks, sometimes in odd places on top of man-made structures. The old breeding stock used to re-introduce the stork in the Netherlands is dying by now, but young storks from all over western-Europe migrate back to the country now and fill the gaps.
2004 - 2008:
Continued improvement of the habitat to enhance the breeding success (approximately 1.6 nestling per breeding pair survives). Further build-off of the active feeding programme at the former breeding stations. 25th anniversaries for some of the breedings stations. More breeding stations close or change their activities. The White Stork is taken off the Red List for bird species in the Netherlands, but only on the basis of numbers of breeding pairs, not for good breeding results. The White Stork still needs to be kept on the Watching List.
Eerste jonge ooievaars in ooievaarsdorp het
Uit: Het Vrije Volk, 6 juni 1974
Aandacht voor het eerste buitenstation in
Uit: De Telegraaf,
24 maart 1982