Species protection and hunting of birds


Implementation of the Birds Directive

Under the EU Birds Directive all bird species naturally occurring in the territory of the EU are protected. This means they must not be deliberately killed, caught or disturbed, and their mating, breeding, feeding and roosting habitats must not be destroyed. The taking and destruction of eggs is prohibited as well as keeping of birds caught in the wild.

BirdLife Europe is regularly assessing the conservation status of all wild bird species. The last assessment was done in 2004 at Pan-European and EU level. It showed that about half of the EU’s bird species are in unfavourable conservation status.

BirdLife Europe sees the EU Birds Directive as a good framework to regulate the hunting of birds. The adequate implementation and enforcement of the Directive by Member States and all stakeholders is an essential minimum requirement and important contribution to reach the ultimate aim, which is to make hunting of birds a truly sustainable activity across the European Union. Hunters have an important role to play, not only in ensuring their own activities are sustainable, but also in joining forces with all who work for a better environment rich in wildlife.

Stichting BirdLife Europe gratefully acknowledges financial support from the European Commission. All content and opinions expressed on these pages are solely those of Stichting BirdLife Europe.

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