Awareness and Capacity Building against Bird Crime in Priority Flyway Countries
LIFE Against Bird Crime - LIFE17 GIE/NL/000599

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Illegal activities such as illegal killing, trapping or trade of birds still occur in many countries of the EU with a number of countries identified as particular black spots. In addition, widespread occurrence outside the EU impacts directly on migratory species within the EU.

Every year, an average of 25 000 000 birds are unlawfully shot, trapped or poisoned, from the smallest songbirds to the most powerful birds of prey. Endangered species, already hit hard by habitat loss and climate change, are being pushed closer to extinction – and all in open defiance of the law.

Therefore attainment of the objectives of the Birds Directive and of the first target of the EU Biodiversity Strategy, which aims to achieve a measurable improvement in the status of species of EU conservation concern, are both under threat.

This project builds on recent progress in addressing illegal killing, taking and trapping of birds, with a particular focus on urgent action in four priority EU countries but with actions extended to priority-EU as well as non-EU countries, where illegal killing of migratory birds has a direct relevance to the problem at EU level.

To avoid siloed and isolated actions, this project is designed to align intimately and be incorporated within the Flight for Survival campaign to deliver added exponential value to the identical goals of each. This is possible given the overlap in the concerned black spots and priority countries, to wit; Italy, Greece, Croatia, Cyprus for LIFE Against Bird Crime; and Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Lebanon and Egypt for the Flight for Survival campaign. Additionally the project provides links and added value through reference to other existing LIFE projects involving the Egyptian vulture and the Eastern imperial eagle and BirdLife partners BSPB (Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds) and MME (Hungary).

The projects see this added value as deriving from a Flyways level focus and narrative within which the black spots are located, and aims to convey this through the use of 7 iconic species, of which some are threatened.

  • Eurasian blackcap
  • Egyptian vulture
  • Eastern imperial eagle
  • White stork
  • Common quail
  • European honey-buzzard
  • European turtle-dove

The project strategy is to reinforce the international work against the illegal killing, trapping and trading of wild birds (IKB), thus contributing to the elimination of the second largest (after habitat loss) threat to wild bird survival and delivering towards the implementation of the EU Bird Directive.

The project objectives of this Information, Communication and Awareness Raising Project are to:

  1. Expand and improve public and community knowledge on illegal killing of birds in the target region, in order to identify and promote targeted strategic actions within and beyond the scope of this project.
  2. Increase awareness and stimulate public demand to stop illegal killing of birds.
  3. Support increased international and national advocacy efforts to ensure political commitment and technical capacity to enforce actions to end illegal killing of birds
  4. Design and implement pilot projects with key stakeholders in priority countries to demonstrate, share and promote effective approaches to reduce illegal killing and taking of birds.
  5. Maintain and strengthen the networks of civil society organisations and stakeholder groups working together to address illegal killing of birds.

The information and public awareness campaign, news, videos, photos, relevant links can be followed at the 

Flight for Survival campaign page


LIFE Against Bird Crime Roula

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