World Bird News December 2013

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Rallying for BirdLife in Peru

Rallying for BirdLife in Peru

The Endangered Marvellous Spatuletail will benefit from funds raised (Richard Webster;
By John Fanshawe, Thu, 05/12/2013 - 11:21

A team from the leading US bird tour company, Field Guides, are competing in the third Peru birding competition, aka the World Birding Rally, for a week from December 3. Field Guides leaders Jesse Fagan and Dan Lane are joining Peruvian ornithologist Fernando Angulo, alongside four other teams, and Field Guides have generously agreed to raise funds for BirdLife, with a particular focus on the Endangered hummingbird Marvellous Spatuletail Loddigesia mirabilis.

This stunning hummingbird is endemic to Northern Peru and is considered globally Endangered. It was chosen as a flagship species for a campaign to protect the páramo grasslands and forests in the Tilacancha and Cruzhuayco river watersheds, benefitting the communities in the rural areas of San Isidro de Maino and Levanto, and the residents of Chachapoyas town. Led by the BirdLife collaborator in Peru, APECO, the campaign intends to support the Private Conservation Area of Tilacancha. All the funding raised during the challenge will go towards supporting the project on the ground.

Both Dan Lane and Jesse Fagan have long experience of guiding Field Guides tours in Peru. Dan has been visiting the country since 1996, and is a co-author and artist on the acclaimed field guide, Birds of Peru. He is also a research associate at the Louisiana State University Natural History Museum. Jesse trained as a mathematician and has been birding fanatically since his teens, with a long history of bird work in Texas and Central America, especially in El Salvador. For two decades, Fernando Angulo has been active in conservation at home in Peru, both studying the endangered White-winged Guan Penelope albipennis, and as one of the principal investigators of the Centro de Ornitologia y Biodiversidad (CORBIDI) in Lima.

Reporting from the field ahead of planning the race, Fernando notes that it has been raining heavily, so the birding is bound to be challenging in every way. The route starts in lowland rainforest near Madre de Dios, before climbing over the eastern slopes of the Andes, and finishes in the extraordinary Urubamba Valley that lies below the great terraces and ruins of Macchu Picchu. With Dan reporting a staggering potential list of more than 800 species, the race promises more birds in a week than most of us can hope to accumulate in a year. In December 2012, the winning team saw 493, and in earlier this year, in June, cracked 636!

Anyone who would like to sponsor Dan, Jesse and Fernando can do so via the Field Guides website. BirdLife also owes thanks to Peggy Watson, Jan Pierson, Richard Webster, and the Field Guides home team for this support, and for their earlier commitment to BirdLife’s Preventing Extinctions Programme in Latin America.

Concern over migrant birds prompts international response

Concern over migrant birds prompts international response

An increasing use of nets along large stretches of the Egyptian coast is a worrying development (H Schulz)
By Martin Fowlie, Wed, 04/12/2013 - 14:48

In recent months, the indiscriminate and unsustainable killing of migrant birds in North Africa has become an issue of public concern in a growing number of countries. There has been widespread hunting and trapping of migratory birds in Egypt and also Libya, especially through the use of mist nets along large stretches of the Mediterranean coast. In response, the BirdLife Partnership, Government Agencies, the Convention on Migratory Species and the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds have rapidly moved to address the situation.

“Bird trapping in these countries is an ancient tradition. The main target species, Common Quail, is a local delicacy”, said Marcus Kohler, BirdLife’s Senior Programme Manager for Flyways.

“It’s a legitimate way for local people to supplement their diet. However, the indiscriminate nature and scale of the trapping has now reached worrying proportions and is having an impact upon other species.”

It’s not only Quail that are caught; many other species, such as European Turtle-dove and Red-backed Shrike, are also trapped as ‘bycatch’ in significant numbers. The increasing use and magnitude of mist net trapping is a new and worrying development.

Current estimates are that millions of birds are caught each autumn as they leave Europe and Asia for their wintering grounds in sub-Saharan Africa.
"Quails themselves are not endangered, but why the issue of netting has now become a major concern locally and internationally is the element of indiscriminate catching or unsustainable trapping of birds, where we have lots of bycatch and occasionally this bycatch may include endangered species”. Listen to Noor Noor, from BirdLife's Egyptian Partner, NCE talking about the trapping in Egypt.
In response, an international meeting brought together a number of key people and organisations, including participants from both the government and non-governmental sectors from Egypt, and Libya. The meeting was convened last week in Bonn, Germany and included representatives from the BirdLife Partnership, NABU (Birdlife in Germany), RSPB (BirdLife in the UK) and Nature Conservation Egypt (BirdLife Partner) and also the Secretariats of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), and African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement.

The meeting agreed on a detailed plan of action to get robust measurements on the scale and impact of the problem, and to look at the socio-economic and legal aspects of bird trapping.

“The BirdLife Partnership is tackling illegal killing and unsustainable hunting in many countries through its Flyways Programme. This agreed plan will fill in the gaps in our knowledge and allow us to work with the Egyptian and Libyan authorities to make sure they have the skills and understanding needed to address these trapping issues, while respecting the need for quail hunting”, said Kohler.

It was also agreed that there is a need to ensure that effective legislation and regulations are in place and being adequately enforced while building capacity of local Government, NGOs and local communities to effectively address indiscriminate trapping in the region.

“The illegal and unsustainable killing of birds is a global issue that BirdLife Partners are committed to tackling. While there have been significant and encouraging improvements in several countries over the last 20 years, many others need to step up and deal with this increasing and unsustainable practice. It is heartening to see commitment from the Egyptian and Libyan Governments. The BirdLife Partnership is fully committed to support them in their efforts”, said Dr Marco Lambertini, BirdLife International’s Chief Executive.

Prominent hunters from Middle East and Africa sign declaration on responsible hunting

By Julien.Jreissati, Thu, 05/12/2013 - 11:21

Hunters from Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Yemen and Ethiopia have signed a Regional Declaration on Responsible Hunting <Actinic:Variable Name = '1'/>, at a ceremony organised by the BirdLife International and UNDP/GEF Migratory Soaring Birds (MSB) project in coordination with the Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon (SPNL), BirdLife in Lebanon.

Under the Patronage of H.E. Mr. Nazem El Khoury, Lebanese Minister of Environment, the ceremony celebrated the adoption of the “Code of Best Practices for Hunters and Hunting Groups for Responsible Hunting and the Full Protection of Migratory Soaring Birds”.

The ceremony was held on the 5th of December 2013 at the Coral Beach Hotel, Beirut, Lebanon. Guests included responsible hunters from the region, and observers from the Lebanese Higher Hunting Council, BirdLife International and BirdLife Partners from attending countries, the Lebanese Ministry of Environment, the European Federation of Associations for Hunting & Conservation (FACE), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The ceremony was part of a larger scheme that the MSB project discussed back in October 2011, during the MSB first regional hunting workshop in Beirut, when BirdLife Partners reviewed hunting practices in the region against the background of European experience. In Europe, BirdLife has signed a similar agreement with FACE.

Dr. Saleem Hamadeh, representative of H.E. Mr. Nazem El Khoury Lebanese Minister of Environment, presented the accomplishments of the Ministry of Environment in terms of birds conservation and the issuance of the necessary decrees for the implementation of the new hunting law. He reminded that migratory birds are protected under international laws and conventions. Finally he stated that “to achieve complete protection of migratory soaring birds we need regional collaboration for the organisation of responsible hunting”.

Signatories of the Responsible Hunting Declaration have committed to adopt the Code of Best Practices for Hunters and Hunting Groups for Responsible Hunting and the Full Protection of Migratory Soaring Birds as the founding principle of their hunting activities, and to implement measures to conserve migratory soaring birds and their habitats.

Many of the hunters present have expressed their aspiration to create national responsible hunting groups and societies with the Code of Best Practices for Responsible Hunting as their core value.

Mr. Osama Al Nouri, Regional MSB project coordinator, declared: “The MSB project aims to revive the hunter’s traditional sustainable hunting practices that do not threaten migratory soaring birds along the Rift Valley/Red Sea flyway within the scope of the Code of Conduct, to establish national and regional mature responsible hunting groups that are working closely with BirdLife partners as allies against indiscriminate practices, and ensure firm government buy-in through effective regulations and efficient implementation of national laws”.

Participating BirdLife Partners were:

The Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon (SPNL), BirdLife Lebanon
The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN), BirdLife Jordan
Palestine Wildlife Society (PWLS), BirdLife Palestine
Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society (EWNHS), BirdLife Ethiopia
The Syrian Society for the Conservation of Wildlife (SSCW), BirdLife Syria
Nature Conservation Egypt (NCE), BirdLife Egypt
Foundation for Endangered Wildlife in Yemen (FEW)

For more information on the Code of Best Practices for Responsible Hunting kindly visit the MSB project website: or contact the BirdLife’s Regional Flyway Facility at

<Actinic:Variable Name = '1'/> Signatories to the Responsible Hunting Declaration are:

WILLING to work towards the revival of the region’s tradition heritage in hunting and to improve their role in hunting control and management systems, and promote the concept of responsible hunting principles and MSB protection within their surroundings and contacts within their territories along the Rift Valley / Red Sea Flyway;
RESOLVING to enhance local and regional coordination and collaboration and to increase protection of Migratory Soaring Birds from threats arising from hunting; take necessary actions toward strict abstaining from Migratory Soaring Birds hunting (trapping, shooting, active taking and persecution) within their territories along the Rift Valley / Red Sea Flyway, most importantly at bottleneck sites during peak migration seasons;
ACCEPTING the adoption of the Code of Best Practices regarding responsible hunting of game species and protection of MSBs, and encouraging other fellow hunters in their clubs and associations to adopt it through dialogue and to join this declaration;
ACCEPTING to be a MSB envoy and role model to be followed by other fellow hunters in the area in order to pass the message to the broader community of hunters, including those who are not aware of the MSBs plight, considering themselves as leaders of change;
ENCOURAGING other parties concerned with MSBs to reduce threats induced by hunting and increase their efforts to the protection of MSBs along the flyway; and
WILLING to catalyze the formation of responsible hunting groups that will adopt the Code of Best Practices.

The Birder's Market | Resource | Bird news for Britain / Rest of the World | World Bird News | World Bird News 2013 |  World Bird News December 2013

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