Illegal hunting claims 25 million birds each year

Hunters use nets among other inhumane methods of capture.Around two billion birds travel the Mediterranean/Black Sea Flyway twice a year. In Cyprus, Egypt, Italy, Lebanon and Syria, more than two million birds may be illegally killed or taken annually in each country.  In 2015 BirdLife International’s Killing Report estimated that more than 25 million birds total are illegally slaughtered during that migration across the region each year. 

Birds are killed mostly for sport but also to be sold to restaurants as delicacies. Some birds are captured alive and sold as cage birds.

Most concerning are the methods used to capture these birds. In addition to remote-controlled nets, recorded bird calls are played to encourage exhausted birds to land on tree branches coated with glue, trapping the bird’s legs and beak when they try to free themselves. 

The theme of this year’s World Migratory Bird Day is Their Future is Our Future and as it stands, that future is in peril. The Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) announced the creation of an Intergovernmental Task Force on Killing, Taking and Trade of Migratory Birds in the Mediterranean composed of governments and the European Commission. We’re hopeful that this effort will result in global action.

--DAK

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