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Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Bird crime - Worshop on the illegal raptor bird killing in Hungary


By Anikó Kovács, PhD, Chair of the SCB Hungarian Chapter

Photo by P. Szenczi 
The SCB Hungarian Chapter together with the Hungarian Society of Biology, the Hungarian Ornithological and Nature Conservation Association and the Bükki National Park Directorate organised the 8th Hungarian Conference of Conservation Biology (HCCB). The actual international workshop of the HCCB series was hold in Felsőtárkány, Hungary, 22th February with the contribution of participants from seven European countries: Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Czech Republic, Serbia, Romania and Scotland – United Kingdom.

The workshop focused on the illegal raptor bird killing in the Carpathian Basin, and it was followed by the 8th annual meeting of raptor bird protection organised by the Hungarian Ornithological and Nature Conservation Association and the Hungarian Raptor Bird Protection Council, on 23th February. The two-day long event was visited by 104 participants.

Photo by P. Szenczi
The workshop aimed to discuss the main problems and potential solutions of raptor bird protection, and to provide platform for exchange experiences on the more and more often occurring illegal raptor bird killing events in the related Central-European countries. The participants discussed the Action Plan against raptor bird poisoning that will hopefully support more effective conservation of the species in the future. The experts presented their experiences on crime against raptor birds in their countries. According to their data, in the last decades the number of illegally killed eagles was 40 in Austria, 24 in the Czech Republic, 22 in Slovakia, 18 in Serbia and 2 in Romania, while the Hungarian data were far beyond these values. Since 2000 176 eagles have been poisoned, shut or killed by nest destroy in Hungary. This far too high value still continued to increase, and further killings occurred just in few days after the workshop.

Photo by P. Szenczi
Fortunately there are people and organisations, who are committed to protect these special and wonderful bird species. The main sponsor of the workshop, the Helicon LIFE+ program coordinated by the Hungarian Ornithological and Nature Conservation Association, started in 2012 aims to decrease the direct adverse effects of persecution incidents on the Hungarian imperial eagle (Aquila heliaca) population, increase the chance of detecting illegal activities and imposing precedent judgments in the association with among others the National Bureau of Investigation, Hunter's National Chamber, the Ministry of Rural Develoment, the Hortobágy National Park Directorate (NPD), the Bükki NPD and the Kőrös-Maros NPD.

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