Anti-poaching activities

Illegal trade in wild song birds

The Biological Diversity Act protects all song bird species by prohibiting any form of catching, killing, persecution, disturbance, keeping, transportation, trading, and stuffing therein, as well as destruction and collection of their eggs. However, the beautiful songs and colors of wild song birds make them victims to illegal hunting and trade, thus endangering the species’ survival in the wild.

Activities of Green Balkans against the illegal trade in wild song birds and other wild species

Working group for preventing trapping and trade in wild species
A working group for preventing the illegal trapping and trade in wild species was initiated by Green Balkans on November 26th 2001. All responsible state institutions – RIEW, RFB, RVS, Municipality of Plovdiv, Municipal Police, Bulgarian Hunters and Anglers’ Union were present at the meeting. After presenting and discussing the issue, the participants signed a Declaration on preventing the poaching, trapping and trade in wild birds.

Examinations against illegal trapping and trade in wild species
The examinations are carried out in autumn and winter, while birds are easily trapped and sold at open markets. During this period the volunteers of Green Balkans check the markets in Plovdiv every week as well as the markets in the nearby towns of Assenvograd and Rakovski.

Information campaign
The long-term and sustainable solution of the issue requires raised awareness of a wide range of citizens. The campaign includes printing of information materials, installing of information signboards in places where wild birds are sold, presentations before students, working with the media, etc.

Field educational actions
Our efforts aim at re-educating youngsters who illegally trap birds and recruiting them on the side of nature conservation. Therefore, youngsters are involved in field activities for bird ringing and observation. Thus, they have the chance to touch the beauty of birds, gain valuable knowledge and skills and at the same time really contribute to the conservation of Bulgarian nature. The ringing activities are always led by members of Green Balkans, collaborators of the Bulgarian Ornithological Central, observing all requirements of the Biodiversity Act.

Results:
- a working group for solving the problem of illegal trade has been formed in Plovdiv;
- the awareness and commitment of the responsible institutions have been raised and nowadays they are actively involved in the process of solving this issue;
- a poster, stickers, leaflets and T-shirts on the illegal trade have been printed out and disseminated;
- an information signboard has been designed;
- over 50 examinations have been carried out, and more than 400 song birds have been confiscated and released.