Wild bird crime in Serbia is threatening the populations of migratory birds

++ Bird migration is already in full swing ++ Many birds are falling victim to poachers in the Balkans ++ EuroNatur and their Serbian partner organisation are campaigning against the illegal killing of these birds ++

This siskin was a victim of the poachers. The illegal hunters do not just hunt water birds, but also shoot raptors and songbirds. For many species of bird, this is a factor which is endangering their populations.

© Nikola Stanojevic

Radolfzell, Novi Sad. The populations of many migratory birds have been declining dramatically in the last few years. This is not only due to the effects of climate change and the deterioration of their habitats, but is also a result of persecution by man. In Europe, the situation is of particular concern along the Adriatic Flyway. EuroNatur and their partner organisations have been campaigning against the illegal killing of birds for many years, especially in Serbia.

It is estimated that around 200,000 birds are killed annually in Serbia through shooting, poisoning or trapping. This includes protected species such as the turtle dove, Bird of the Year in 2020. There are furthermore many EU nationals from other countries amongst the poachers, above all Italians. In Serbia indeed, poaching amounts to an organised crime. For a long time, the Serbian authorities took no action against it, and considered that wildlife crime was insignificant in the country.

However, thanks to the untiring efforts of the bird conservation organisation BPSSS, a long-time partner organisation of EuroNatur, the attitude of the authorities has changed. In the last year, a special police unit has been formed to fight the bird poachers. “That is a first for this country,” said Dr. Stefan Ferger, project leader at EuroNatur. “We are witnessing a slow, but definite change in Serbia, just like in other Balkan countries. The authorities are beginning to take the situation seriously, and to fulfil their obligations under the law. That is good news for Europe’s migratory birds”, Ferger continued.

Background information:

  • Find out more about the topic here: Bird crime in the Balkans for general and in Serbia for more country-specific information.
  • Adriatic Flyway: The migratory birds of central, northern and eastern Europe particularly favour the so-called Adriatic Flyway which runs across the Balkans, the eastern Adriatic coast and southern Italy and across to North Africa. A short film about bird migration along the eastern Adriatic can be found via this link:
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arJenBAVr10

Further enquiries: Christian Stielow, email: christian.stielow(at)euronatur.org,
Tel.: +49 (0)7732 - 92 72 15

 

How you can help

Donation

Future needs nature. EuroNatur cares for it. Please use your possibilities to help. With your donation you will make an effective contribution to protect birds in Europe.

Migratory Bird Sponsorship

Bird migration is an incomparable natural spectacle. But illegal hunting and the destruction of resting areas endanger the birds. Help make their journey safer.

News

Ulcinj Salina ownership dispute finally resolved

It has now been unequivocally confirmed that the Ulcinj Salina in Montenegro is owned by the state. The government body responsible has ruled that the…

Resistance Against Construction of Airport in Albania

Despite constant pressure from national and international NGOs, the Albanian government is sticking to the construction of a major airport near Vlora…

Ulcinj Salina: 2 Years RAMSAR Site

Two years ago, on 10 September 2019, the Ulcinj Salina in the South of Montenegro was declared as a RAMSAR site, a Wetland of International…

First cinereous vulture chick ringed in Bulgaria

After more than fifty years a cinereous vulture chick was born in the Balkan Mountains this spring. At the end of July, our Bulgarian partners…

Ulcinj Salina remains state property

For years, the issue of the ownership of the Ulcinj Salina remained unresolved. Today, the Privatisation Council in Montenegro unanimously decided to…

Cinereous vulture shot dead in Hungary

A cinereous vulture shot down in Hungary was part of the Bulgarian reintroduction programme supported by EuroNatur. This is a painful blow for the…

Bird paradise in Albania threatened by construction of an airport

++ An airport is to be built in the Narta Lagoon on the Adriatic ++ A stopover site of major international importance for migratory water birds ++ 8th…

Valuable marshes in Poland endangered by mining project

The Australian company Balamara has plans to mine for coal in the Polish region of Lubelskie. This is not only harmful to the climate, but also…

Change in government in Montenegro brings new hope for Ulcinj Salina

++ Montenegro’s new government is intending to afford effective protection to Salina Ulcinj ++ On 2nd February it is World Wetlands Day ++ Ramsar…

Poor breeding season for storks

++ Only a few storks have fledged in Europe’s stork villages ++ Extremes of weather cause problems for the storks ++ Conservation of green wetlands…

At long last: The EU bans lead shot in wetland areas

Good news for Europe’s water birds: hunting in wetlands with toxic lead shot is to be banned. So, every year in the EU about 1.5 million water birds…

A first for Croatia: a person appears in court accused of poisoning wild animals

At the beginning of the year there were several cases of wild and domestic animals being poisoned in Croatia. Now a 52-year old has appeared in court,…

Failure of lead ammunition ban caused by Julia Klöckner's ministry

The Europe-wide ban on hunting with lead ammunition failed to gain approval last week – due to opposition from the Federal Ministry of Food and…

Ulcinj Salina: One year of nature conservation - few things happened

One year ago, Ulcinj Salina was designated as a nature reserve – a great success for us and our partners. While it sounds good on paper, in practice…

Breeding record for Dalmatian pelicans

No sign of spring fatigue: for the Dalmatian pelicans of the Albanian Karavasta Lagoon the breeding season is in full swing. The number of pelicans…