First achievements in the fight against bird hunting on the Balkans

Black-crowned night heron
© Ulf Doerner

Montenegro reduces hunting period

Press release from 10. June 2009


Radolfzell.  EuroNatur, the European Nature Heritage Fund, reports first achievements in the fight against bird hunting on the Balkans. Montenegro has considerably shortened the hunting period. "By changing its bird hunting season, Montenegro has taken an important step towards an EU-membership", says EuroNatur's project leader Dr. Martin Schneider-Jacoby. Montenegro is the second country on the Eastern Adriatic coast after EU-member Slovenia, which stops the hunting season on January 15, thus implementing one requirement of the EU- Directive on the conservation of wild birds. Until now, bird hunting was permitted until March 15. The new law bans bird hunting during this delicate period of return to the breeding grounds, thus preventing disturbances at resting areas and protecting resting birds and migratory birds crossing the country to other destinations such as Germany, according to the EU-Directive on the conservation of wild birds. Implementing this regulation was one of EuroNatur's demands on the governments on the Eastern Adriatic coast. 

Within the scope of its campaign "Crime Scene Adriatic - Bird Hunting on the Balkans", EuroNatur had increased international pressure upon the countries along the Adriatic flyway during the past months. According to EuroNatur's estimates, each year bird hunters kill around two million migratory birds on the Eastern Adriatic coast. One highlight of the campaign was the "1st Adriatic Flyway-Conference" held in April 2009 in the Montenegrin town of Ulcinj; on this occasion, EuroNatur, together with regional representatives and delegates of renown European institutions such as the Ramsar Convention, African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA), BirdLife International and Wetlands International drafted a list of clear demands on the responsible politicians of the region. In this "Declaration of Ulcinj", they claim the alignment of national hunting and nature conservation laws to the EU-standards as well as the control of compliance with these standards.

"By changing the hunting law, the Government of Montenegro has given a positive signal", says Schneider-Jacoby. Yet, there remains much to do. EuroNatur demands a consistent hunting stop both during the time of return of the birds and for their breeding period, i.e. at the least from January 15 until October 1. In addition, it will be necessary to control the compliance of the new regulations.

Background Information

  • More about EuroNatur's campaign "Crime scene Adriatic - bird hunting on the Balkans", background papers and information on the Adriatic Flyway-Conference you find here. 
  • For further information, photos and interviews please contact our bird expert and EuroNatur project leader Dr. Martin Schneider-Jacoby.

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Contact: Dr. Martin Schneider-Jacoby
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