Good bird news from the Mediterranean

This is a lesser kestrel video from Extremadura in Spain.

Translated from Marieke Dijksman of BirdLife in the Netherlands:

Less deadly traps for migratory birds in the Mediterranean

March 1, 2016 – For migratory birds the Mediterranean is a kind of minefield. They have to survive unscathed illegal hunting, power lines and wind turbines. BirdLife in the Netherlands is committed, together with their BirdLife partners, to provide protection for migratory birds in the Mediterranean. And that is more and more successful.

Successes in Croatia, Turkey and Morocco

Twice a year hundreds of millions of birds migrate along the African-Eurasian flyway. Along the way they must cross natural barriers such as the Mediterranean and the Sahara, as well as threats caused by human activity. On top of that there is the loss of key roosting areas and problems caused by climate change. However, recently there have been achieved good protection results with the project Flyway Conservation in the Mediterranean. Like in Croatia, Turkey and Morocco.

Saving lesser kestrels in Croatia

The lesser kestrel seemed to be extinct in Croatia. Until a small colony was discovered near the island of Rab in 2010. Exactly on the main feeding grounds of the falcons, the government wanted to build a new airport. By direct action of BirdLife Partner BIOM the lesser kestrel was placed on the Croatian Red List and airport plans were abandoned. Important not only for the lesser kestrel, but also for all Croatian birds, because it is the first time a negative impact on birds could not only be shown, but actually led to action. An important and welcome precedent in Croatia.

Protection of sociable lapwings in Turkey

The sociable lapwing is a critically endangered bird. Worldwide there are fewer than 6,000 pairs. From the breeding grounds in Kazakhstan sociable lapwings migrate through Turkey to the main southerly wintering areas. Doa Dernegi, our BirdLife Partner in Turkey, has addressed illegal hunting in the nature reserve Ceylanpnar, one of the most important resting areas of the species. A team of volunteer wardens now watches over the area and it is very successful. Illegal hunting has fallen sharply. Biggest success: the proclamation of a hunting-free zone in Ceylanpnar at the beginning of the hunting season 2015-2016. Sociable lapwings can safely pass through Turkey!

Rehabilitation of salt pans in Morocco

Two successes of GREPOM, the BirdLife partner of our Society in Morocco. GREPOM managed to prevent the construction of a wind farm in the Rif Mountains. The planned wind farm was right on a major route for migratory birds and especially for many raptors it would have become fatal.

GREPOM could convince the local government of Larache, a port city in northern Morocco, to restore the Loukkos salt pans. Which constitute an important stopover for migratory birds and a habitat for waders.

Stopping bird killing in the Mediterranean. By Claire Thompson, 4 Nov 2016: here.

The Mediterranean Basin: together for nature. By Shaun Hurrell, 11 Jan 2017: here.

2 thoughts on “Good bird news from the Mediterranean

  1. Pingback: Kestrel in the morning, video | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Governments throughout the Mediterranean have agreed on the Cairo Declaration

    Posted on Sun, 17/07/2016

    The Ministry of Environment in Egypt announced the conclusion of the activities of the first ever meeting of the Intergovernmental Task Force on Illegal Killing on the Mediterranean region and launched “Cairo Declaration” to combat poaching of migratory birds. Dr. Mustafa Fouda Minister’s Advisor for Biodiversity and Dr. Jamal Jum’a director of nature conservation section, beside the representative of the Secretariat of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and with the participation of the United Nations Environment Program, Migratory Soaring Birds project, the Convention for the safeguarding of animals and number of international organizations and stakeholders.

    Dr. Jamal Jum’a confirmed that Cairo Declaration gives a clear message for anyone who wants to trap birds illegally that there will be a serious action from government officials against him, and there will be more attention to address that phenomenon.

    Dr. Mustafa Fouda presented the declaration according to the ministry statement, which included emphasis on the importance of poaching birds issue and its impact on biodiversity. He stressed on the need for strengthening the cooperation between governments and organizations that work in conservation to protect the migratory birds from illegal killing, hunting and trading. He also focused on the importance of sharing available information, action plans and guidebooks to support the preparation of a comprehensive road map to eliminate it, as well as the need to consider the social and economic aspects.

    BirdLife International recently produced an important report on the status of illegal killing of birds in the Mediterranean. The report estimated the numbers in Egypt to be among the highest in the Mediterranean at the level of illegal killing, taking and trade of migratory birds.

    Nature Conservation Egypt; NCE– BirdLife partner in Egypt – is currently implementing two related BirdLife -supported projects one on “reducing illegal trapping of migrating birds in Northern Egypt” and the is second is part of a regional project on “Hope for migratory birds in the Eastern Mediterranean: action against illegal killing” financed by Birds Fair.

    The declaration also included the need to consider the revision of national legislations and the implementation of relevant research programs in this area, while recognizing the importance of the different methodologies either precautionary or consultation to eliminate the illegal killing, with a commitment to implement the proposed work program.

    In addition to establish a team of experts to fight the illegal killing and trading in the Mediterranean basin; and help in enforcing the laws, preparing new legislation and work to maintain, monitor poaching of migratory birds, as well as raise public awareness.


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