Europe and Central Asia
13 Apr 2012

MME tests measures to halt illegal hunting of birds


MME/BirdLife in Hungary, in cooperation with 8 other conservation organisations just launched a 5 years LIFE+ project that will aim to find effective and alternative solutions to crimes toward birds in Hungary, with a special focus on the conservation of the Eastern Imperial Eagle. The European Commission, the Ministry of Rural Development of Hungary and the 9 partners of the project will co-finance the project.

Birds suffer severerly from different types of crimes across Europe, however most of the cases reported are from the Mediterranean region where illegal poisoning shooting, trapping, lest looting and trading of birds, (including raptors) is common practice. In Hungary, more than a thousand protected birds have been poisoned in the last 13 years, including White-tailed Eagles, Saker Falcons, and Common Buzzards. Also the Eastern Imperial Eagle, with a total European population of approximately 200 pairs, has suffered 53 of these birds being poisoned and six shot, within Hungary in the last six years.

MME just started to coordinate a new Life+ project in cooperation with the Hungarian National Bureau of Investigation, three national park directorates, two ZOOs, the Hungarian National Chamber of Hunters, and the association. The project aims to support the gradual increase of the Eastern Imperial Eagle population in Hungary.

Its ambition is to find solutions to illegal hunting practices and that minimizing the damages to bird populations. This involves experimentation of innovative measures such as the establishment of a special veterinary system for quick treatment of injured birds. MME/BirdLife in Hungary hopes that this project will significantly contribute to the recovery of the Eastern Imperial Eagle population in Hungary.

MME expects from this partnership the development of effective solutions to illegal hunting of birds in the country, which might serve as models for all the European countries facing the same issue.

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. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.