2018 – Tackling the Illegal Killing of Birds  in Croatia and Serbia

In 2018, Champions of the Flyway will for the first time focus on two countries as we confront the illegal killing of birds in Croatia and Serbia.

Joining forces with Biom (BirdLife Croatia) and Bird Protection and Study Society of Serbia (BirdLife Serbia), our project aims to protect critically important passages in the eastern and western Mediterranean Flyways as well as the Adriatic Flyway. More than 50,000 quails have been illegally shot in the area, together with numerous waterbirds and occasionally raptors and other soaring birds. We must act now to protect these critical migration routes.

One of the most widespread issues, common for both countries, is the illegal use of tape lures during quail hunting. The problem is often ignored by law enforcement officers because it is practiced during night and on weekends. Due to the low motivation and inadequate capacities within environmental and hunting inspections and the police, governmental control has been ineffectual.

Biom and BPSSS have proposed exciting, on-the-ground projects that can make a real difference in the battle against widespread illegal killing of quail and other migratory birds. With the help of the 2018 Champions of the Flyway campaign, they intend to “team up” the actions and learn from each other.

By organizing workshops and training sessions for volunteers and members, regular visits to bird-crime hotspots, establishing a database of illegal killing of birds, our project aims to establish a functional team for monitoring bird-crime related issues in Croatia and to support and increase the capacity of the existing team in Serbia.

COTF monies will also help collect data on bird-crime related issues and promote conservation of birds and wildlife. Both Biom and BPSSS are keen to include law enforcement officers in workshops, training and field actions.

These conservation teams are from countries that have had a rough political past but have a bright birds conservation future. Through birds, we will once again transcend political boundaries to work together for the protection of nature. Birds indeed know no boundaries, and it is up to us to speak up and protect them because they deserve to fly in peace!

Past Conservation Actions

Learn about the cause – The illegal killing of birds

The Killing CoverIn August 2015, the shocking extent of the slaughter around the Mediterranean was revealed by a study The Killing published by BirdLife International. Around 25 million birds, mainly songbirds, are killed illegally there by shooters and trappers every year.  Download a copy of this definitive report.

Champions of the Flyway works to enable national BirdLife Partners to tackle these issues locally. Every year, we build on our conservation success, because we are fervent believers that this massive crisis of illegal bird killing can be mitigated with proper strategy and investment.

WHAT IS LIMNES: The so called “tradition” of “Limnes” (meaning “Ponds”) employs a sophisticated method of trapping song birds for the illegal trade or for the dinner table. Birds are attracted by live decoys, which are singing birds in a cage or tied to branches. These decoys are situated in small artificial ponds. When a wild bird approaches the live decoy, it gets trapped in carefully situated nets around the pond, or via limesticks on surrounding artificially placed tree branches. WHAT IS THE MAIN PURPOSE IN SANTORINI?
Mostly for illegal trade, as cage birds and also for the dinner table.