Illegal Killing of Birds in the Mediterranean
The results are gruesome. Despite legal protection, illegal bird killing is taking place at quite extraordinary and unsustainable levels. While many turn a blind eye, an estimated 25 million birds are being illegally massacred annually.
The report identifies three individual locations – the Famagusta area in Cyprus, the Menbej-Tishreen Dam area in Syria and the El Manzala area in Egypt – where, staggeringly, more than half a million birds are being illegally slaughtered each year.
Populations of 40 different migratory songbird species that were once abundant in Europe are declining and some are now in free-fall. Many have already disappeared from much of their former range.
European Turtle-dove (Streptopelia turtur) has declined by 30% throughout Europe since the start of the millennium and in some countries by as much as 90% in the same period. Yet more than one million are still illegally killed each year.
Our birds deserve safer flyways. To tackle these threats, our conservation efforts need to be scaled up at the worst locations we have identified, coupled with effective and well-coordinated local, regional and national advocacy.
We invite you to share the information in this review so we can all prevent the future of these birds ending in nets, glued to branches or illegally shot for fun.
The BirdLife Partnership is committed to making the Mediterranean a safer place for birds, biodiversity and people. Join the cause!