Thousands of white storks are the victims of illegal hunting

++ The migration season is now in full flow ++ Every year there are 25 million birds killed illegally, including thousands of white storks ++ International Campaign to fight against the killing of birds has been launched. ++

White stork
The white stork is a bird which has done well from landscapes created by man. But in recent years, our industrialised agriculture has made life much more difficult for this charismatic bird. © Martin Schneider-Jacoby/EuroNatur

Radolfzell. The white stork is one of Germany’s favourite birds. However, most people are not aware that every year thousands of them are illegally shot during their migration, especially in Lebanon. On their way back from East Africa, hundreds of thousand of storks cross the Qaraoun reservoir in the south east of the country in just a few days. Large numbers of hunters are waiting for them and shoot them out of the sky in their thousands.

“Such massacres of white storks and other birds represent a huge loss for their populations,” says Gabriel Schwaderer from EuroNatur, a charity which is very active on the international scene. “The worsening of conditions in the breeding areas, because of habitat loss or the dramatic fall in insect numbers, is a serious problem, made more acute by them being decimated by hunters on their migration routes. All this is leading to a dramatic fall in the populations of some species in Germany. Although it is not a critical situation for the stork at the moment, that could quickly change. It is for this reason that we in EuroNatur, in conjunction with many other stork conservationists, wrote a letter to the President of Lebanon last year to demand of him that he punish the illegal hunting of birds. We expect him to act on his statement that there should be ‘peace between man and stork’”.

In February, BirdLife International launched the campaign “Flight for Survival” in conjunction with a variety of partner organisations including EuroNatur. By highlighting seven species of bird, the campaign draws attention to the various dangers to Europe’s migrant birds. Every year approximately 25 million birds fall victim to the guns, nets and lime twigs of the poachers.

 

Background information:

  • Since its founding, the conservation charity EuroNatur has been active in the protection of European migrant birds. It has particularly concentrated on the Adriatic Flyway, which runs across the Balkans, the Adriatic and southern Italy to North Africa. Click on this link to watch a short film on bird migration across the eastern Adriatic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arJenBAVr10
     
  • Since 1994, EuroNatur has been conferring the title of ‘European Stork Village’ to communities or villages which have been particularly committed to stork conservation. These places are now internationally recognised as contributing significantly to European cultural and wildlife heritage. Click on this link to find out more: https://www.storkvillages.net/
     
  • The campaign “Flight for Survival”, initiated by BirdLife International, features seven representative species (including the white stork), and portrays the dangers which these feathered world travellers experience on their migration routes. Click on this link to find out more information about the campaign: https://flightforsurvival.org/

Further enquiries: Christian Stielow, E-Mail: christian.stielow(at)euronatur.org, Tel: +49 7732 92 72 15

 

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