Jordan Birdwatching Club on Facebook

There have been a number of recent reports of indiscriminate hunting of migrant birds passing through the Middle East, ranging from White Storks and White Pelicans to small warblers such as Blackcaps. Regrettably this happens both on spring and autumn migration. The vast majority of such hunting is not for food – as it may have been in a less prosperous past. These reports have appeared on internet forums and in newspapers – for example an article entitled ‘Massacre of tens of migrating storks’ published in the Lebanese newspapers AlAnwar (19 April) and AsSafir (23 April). Lebanon, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Syria have all been mentioned as countries where hunters operate – illegally. Oman is one of the few countries in the area where there is anti-hunting legislation that is enforced. Regrettably the practice happens elsewhere – for example in Cyprus, Malta, Italy, France.

Local organisations are working hard to change or enforce laws and to raise public awareness of the issue. International organisations such as BirdLife Middle East are also striving to tackle this problem.

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