Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Preliminary assessment of the scope and scale of illegal killing and taking of birds in the Mediterranean

  • ANNE-LAURE BROCHET (a1), WILLEM VAN DEN BOSSCHE (a2), SHARIF JBOUR (a3), P. KARIUKI NDANG’ANG’A (a4), VICTORIA R. JONES (a1), WED ABDEL LATIF IBRAHIM ABDOU (a5), ABDEL RAZZAQ AL- HMOUD (a6), NABEGH GHAZAL ASSWAD (a7), JUAN CARLOS ATIENZA (a8), IMAD ATRASH (a9), NICHOLAS BARBARA (a10), KEITH BENSUSAN (a11), TAULANT BINO (a12), CLAUDIO CELADA (a13), SIDI IMAD CHERKAOUI (a14), JULIETA COSTA (a15), BERNARD DECEUNINCK (a16), KHALED SALEM ETAYEB (a17), CLAUDIA FELTRUP-AZAFZAF (a18), JERNEJ FIGELJ (a19), MARCO GUSTIN (a13), PRIMOŽ KMECL (a19), VLADO KOCEVSKI (a20), MALAMO KORBETI (a21), DRAŽEN KOTROŠAN (a22), JUAN MULA LAGUNA (a10), MATTEO LATTUADA (a10), DOMINGOS LEITÃO (a15), PAULA LOPES (a15), NICOLÁS LÓPEZ-JIMÉNEZ (a8), VEDRAN LUCIĆ (a23), THIERRY MICOL (a16), AÏSSA MOALI (a24), YOAV PERLMAN (a25), NICOLA PILUDU (a10), DANAE PORTOLOU (a21), KSENIJA PUTILIN (a20), GWENAEL QUAINTENNE (a16), GHASSAN RAMADAN-JARADI (a26), MILAN RUŽIĆ (a27), ANNA SANDOR (a28), NERMINA SARAJLI (a22), DARKO SAVELJIĆ (a29), ROBERT D. SHELDON (a30), TASSOS SHIALIS (a31), NIKOS TSIOPELAS (a21), FRAN VARGAS (a21), CLAIRE THOMPSON (a1), ARIEL BRUNNER (a2), RICHARD GRIMMETT (a1) and STUART H.M. BUTCHART (a32)...
Summary
Summary

Illegal killing/taking of birds is a growing concern across the Mediterranean. However, there are few quantitative data on the species and countries involved. We assessed numbers of individual birds of each species killed/taken illegally in each Mediterranean country per year, using a diverse range of data sources and incorporating expert knowledge. We estimated that 11–36 million individuals per year may be killed/taken illegally in the region, many of them on migration. In each of Cyprus, Egypt, Italy, Lebanon and Syria, more than two million birds may be killed/taken on average each year. For species such as Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla, Common Quail Coturnix coturnix, Eurasian Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs, House Sparrow Passer domesticus and Song Thrush Turdus philomelos, more than one million individuals of each species are estimated to be killed/taken illegally on average every year. Several species of global conservation concern are also reported to be killed/taken illegally in substantial numbers: Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata, Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca and Rock Partridge Alectoris graeca. Birds in the Mediterranean are illegally killed/taken primarily for food, sport and for use as cage-birds or decoys. At the 20 worst locations with the highest reported numbers, 7.9 million individuals may be illegally killed/taken per year, representing 34% of the mean estimated annual regional total number of birds illegally killed/taken for all species combined. Our study highlighted the paucity of data on illegal killing/taking of birds. Monitoring schemes which use systematic sampling protocols are needed to generate increasingly robust data on trends in illegal killing/taking over time and help stakeholders prioritise conservation actions to address this international conservation problem. Large numbers of birds are also hunted legally in the region, but specific totals are generally unavailable. Such data, in combination with improved estimates for illegal killing/taking, are needed for robustly assessing the sustainability of exploitation of birds.

Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence; email: anne-laure.brochet@birdlife.org
References
Hide All
AmarA., CourtI. R., DavisonM., DowningS., GrimshawT. and PickfordT. (2012) Linking nest histories, remotely sensed land use data and wildlife crime records to explore the impact of grouse moor management on peregrine falcon populations. Biol. Conserv. 145: 8694.
AzafzafH., SandeE., EvansS. W., SmartM. and CollarN. J. (2005) International species action plan for the Houbara Bustard Chlamydotis undulata undulata. Nairobi, Kenya and Sandy, Bedfordshire, UK: BirdLife International and Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
BirdLife Cyprus (2015a) Update on illegal bird trapping activity in Cyprus. Nicosia, Cyprus: BirdLife Cyprus.
BirdLife Cyprus (2015b) Strategic action plan for tackling illegal bird trapping in Cyprus. Nicosia, Cyprus: BirdLife Cyprus.
BirdLife International (2007) Regional action plan for moving toward sustainable hunting and conservation of migratory birds in Mediterranean Third Countries. Cambridge, UK: BirdLife International.
BirdLife International (2011) Review of the illegal killing and trapping of birds in Europe. A report by the BirdLife Partnership. Cambridge, UK: BirdLife International.
BirdLife International (2013) State of the world’s birds: indicators for our changing world. Cambridge, UK: BirdLife International.
BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 1/6/2014.
BirdLife International (2015a) European Red List of birds. Luxembourg, Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.
BirdLife International (2015b) Assessing the scope and scale of illegal killing and taking of birds in the Mediterranean, and establishing a basis for systematic monitoring. Cambridge, UK: BirdLife International.
BirdLife International (2015c) A best practice guide for monitoring illegal killing and taking of birds. Cambridge, UK: BirdLife International.
BrouwerJ. (2009) The flyway approach to conserving migratory birds. Its necessity and value. Report to UNEP/CMS, Bonn, March 2009. Bennekom, The Netherlands: Brouwer Envir. & Agric. Consultancy.
ButchartS. H. M. (2008) Red List Indices to measure the sustainability of species use and impacts of invasive alien species. Bird Conserv. Internatn. 18(S): 245262.
CABS (2014) Annual report 2014. Bonn, Germany: Committee Against Bird Slaughter.
Council of Europe (2013) Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats - Recommendation No. 164(2013) on the implementation of the Tunis Action Plan 2013-2020 for the eradication of illegal killing, trapping and trade of wild birds. Strasbourg, France: Council of Europe.
DonaldP. F., SandersonF. J., BurfieldI. J., BiermanS. M., GregoryR. D. and WaliczkyZ. (2007) International conservation policy delivers benefits for birds in Europe. Science 317: 810813.
EmileW., NoorN. and DerelievS. (compilers) (2014) Plan of action to address bird trapping along the Mediterranean coasts of Egypt and Libya. Bonn, Germany: UNEP/AEWA Secretariat.
European Commission (2012) Roadmap towards eliminating illegal killing, trapping and trade of birds. Brussels, Belgium: European Commission.
FranzenJ. (2010) Emptying the skies. The New Yorker 86: 4860.
GalushinV., ClarkeR. and DavygoraA. (2003) International action plan for the Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus). Strasbourg, France: Bern Convention of the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats.
GavinM. C., SolomonJ. and BlankS. G. (2010) Measuring and monitoring illegal use of natural resources. Conserv. Biol. 24: 89100.
Ghazal AsswadN. (2013) Surveying the Sociable Lapwing (Vanellus gregarius) in Syria and pressures it faces. Res. J. Aleppo Univ. Agri. Series 104. (In Arabic).
GonzálezL. M., MargalidaA., MañosaS., SánchezR., OriaJ., MolinaJ. I., CalderaJ., ArandaA. and PradaL. (2009) Causes and spatio-temporal variations of non-natural mortality in the Vulnerable Spanish Imperial Eagle Aquila adalberti during a recovery period. Oryx 41: 495502.
GreenA. J., FoxA. D., HiltonG., HuguesB., YararM. and SalathéT. (1996) Threats to Burdur Lake ecosystem, Turkey and its waterbirds, particularly the White-headed Duck. Biol. Conserv. 76: 241252.
KirbyJ. S., StattersfieldA. J., ButchartS. H. M., EvansM. I., GrimmettR. F. A., JonesV., O’ SullivanJ., TuckerG. and NewtonI. (2008) Key conservation issues for migratory land- and waterbird species on the world's major flyways. Bird Conserv. Internatn. 18(S): 4973.
MadsenJ., GuillemainM., NagyS., Defos du RauP., Mondain-MonvalJ. Y., GriffinC., WilliamsJ. H., BunnefeldN., CzajkowskiA., HearnR., GrauerA., AlhainenM. and MiddletonA. (2015) Towards sustainable management of huntable migratory waterbirds in Europe. A report by the Waterbird Harvest Specialist Group of Wetlands International. Ede, The Netherlands: Wetlands International.
MagninG. (1987) An account of the illegal catching and shooting of birds in Cyprus during 1986. Cambridge, UK: International Council for Bird Preservation. (Study Report No. 21).
MagninG. (1991) Hunting and persecution of migratory birds in the Mediterranean region. Pp. 6379 in SalatheT., ed. Conserving migratory birds. Cambridge, UK: International Council for Bird Preservation.
MikuškaA., HorvatD., TomikA. and MiskukaT. (2014) Impact of hunting on strictly protected bird species in Croatia. 2nd Adriatic Flyway Conference, Durres (Albania), 1–3 October.
MurguiE. (2014) When governments support poaching: a review of the illegal trapping of thrushes Turdus spp. in the parany of Comunidad Valenciana, Spain. Bird Conserv. Internatn. 24: 127137.
PorterR. F. (2005) Soaring bird migration in the Middle East and North East Africa: the bottleneck sites. Report to BirdLife International for the UNDP/GEF “Migratory Soaring Birds” project.
RaineA. F. (2007) The international impact of hunting and trapping in the Maltese Islands. Ta' Xbiex, Malta: BirdLife Malta.
Schneider-JacobyM. and SpangenbergA. (2010) Bird hunting along the Adriatic Flyway – an assessment of bird hunting in Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Slovenia and Serbia. Pp. 3251 in DenacD., Schneider-JacobyM. and StumbergerB.., eds. Adriatic Flyway – closing the gap in bird conservation. Radolfzel, Germany: EuroNatur.
St. JohnF. A. V., Edwards-JonesG., GibbonsJ. M. and JonesJ. P. G. (2010) Testing novel methods for assessing rule breaking in conservation. Biol. Conserv. 143: 10251030.
UNEP/CMS (2014) UNEP/CMS/Resolution 11.16 – The prevention of illegal killing, taking and trade of migratory birds. Bonn, Germany: CMS.
VickeryJ. A. EwingS. R., SmithK. W., PainD. J., BarleinF., SkorpilovJ. and GregoryR. D. (2014) The decline of Afro-Palaearctic migrants and an assessment of potential causes. Ibis 156: 122.
Wetlands International (2008) Wings Over Wetlands project. http://csntool.wingsoverwetlands.org
Wetlands International (2015) Report on the conservation status of migratory waterbirds in the Agreement area, 6th Edition. Bonn, Germany: AEWA.
WilliamsB. K., SzaroR. C. and ShapiroC. D. (2009) Adaptive management: The U.S. Department of the Interior technical guide. Washington, DC: Adaptive Management Working Group, U.S. Department of the Interior.
WoldhekS. (1979) Bird killing in the Mediterranean. Zeist, The Netherlands: European Committee for the Prevention of Mass Destruction of Migratory Birds.
World Factbook (2013-2014) Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency. Downloaded from https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html on 30/4/2015.
ZwartsL., BijlsmaR. G., van der KampJ. and WymengaE. (2009) Living on the edge: Wetlands and birds in a changing Sahel. Zeist, The Netherlands: KNNV publishing.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Bird Conservation International
  • ISSN: 0959-2709
  • EISSN: 1474-0001
  • URL: /core/journals/bird-conservation-international
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×
Type Description Title
WORD
Supplementary Materials

Brochet supplementary material
Brochet supplementary material 2

 Word (15 KB)
15 KB
WORD
Supplementary Materials

Brochet supplementary material
Brochet supplementary material 1

 Word (15 KB)
15 KB
WORD
Supplementary Materials

Brochet supplementary material
Table S2

 Word (16 KB)
16 KB
WORD
Supplementary Materials

Brochet supplementary material
Table S3

 Word (16 KB)
16 KB
WORD
Supplementary Materials

Brochet supplementary material
Table S5

 Word (54 KB)
54 KB
WORD
Supplementary Materials

Brochet supplementary material
Table S1

 Word (122 KB)
122 KB
WORD
Supplementary Materials

Brochet supplementary material
Table S4

 Word (16 KB)
16 KB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 102
Total number of PDF views: 922 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 1694 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 23rd October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.