Freeze and heavy snowfall claimed a high number of victims among water birds on the Balkans. On top of that, hunting is putting huge pressure on the birds. Now Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Greece responded to this situation by temporarily suspending hunting.
The governments thus followed the urgent calls by EuroNatur partner organisations in the respective countries as well as recommendations by the AEWA Secretariat, which coordinates the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds.
During the International Waterbird Census (IWC), which takes place every winter, ornithologists reported an alarming situation in many waterbird resting and wintering sites. Suspending the hunt is therefore an important step to minimise disturbance and the associated energy loss and fatalities. In order to enable our partner organisations to monitor the conditions for waterbirds, the Strategic Working Group of the African-European Waterbird Monitoring Partnership, which is coordinated by Wetlands International and of which EuroNatur is a member, launched an emergency appeal to gather donations.
Bird experts in South-Eastern Europe fear that – in spite of the measures taken – waterbird populations will suffer severe losses. This might also affect the next breeding season. “We’re not only concerned that the number of breeding pairs will be lower. Those birds surviving the cold spell, but returning weaker than usual from their wintering habitats, are less likely to breed successfully”, says Stefan Ferger, project leader at EuroNatur.
Call for donations to support emergency monitoring
Request by the AEWA Secretariat to take emergency measures
More on EuroNatur’s work to protect migratory birds