Shooting, trapping, poisoning.
Millions of migratory birds are slaughtered illegally as they make nature’s most incredible journey. Follow these seven magnificent birds on their epic flight for survival.
Having suffered a dramatic population decline, this rare vulture is now globally endangered. In the Balkans, wildlife trafficking has added to the death toll from poisoning, electrocution and illegal shooting.
Sadly, this beautiful bird is regarded as a trophy target by many poachers. In Lebanon alone, thousands are illegally shot every year as huge flocks cross the country during migration season.
This rare dove is spiraling towards extinction across Europe, yet it remains the target of illegal shooting in the Mediterranean. In Greece, over 70 000 turtle-doves are estimated to be slaughtered each spring on the Ionian Islands alone.
In the past, up to 5000 honey-buzzards were illegally shot every year as they passed through Italy’s Messina Straits. But local and national conservation action since the late 1980s resulted in a dramatic drop in poaching numbers, showing that change is possible.
In Egypt, quail have been trapped for food for generations. But today, at poaching problem areas like Lake Burullus, electronic sound devices playing recorded birdsong lure unsustainable numbers into huge, commercial-scale nets.
Globally threatened due to severe habitat loss, this powerful bird of prey is also badly persecuted by humans. In Hungary, targeted poisoning poses one of the main threats to this rare eagle’s survival.
The trapping of small songbirds for food is common across the Mediterranean. In Cyprus, the illicit restaurant trade of blackcaps – worth 15 million euro – is driving the illegal slaughter of hundreds of thousands of migratory birds each year.
BirdLife International has exposed the illegal mass slaughter of migratory birds across the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and the Caucasus. 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.
We are following the spectacular migratory journeys of these seven birds and exposing the different dangers they face at some of the worst illegal killing blackspots along the African-Eurasian flyway.
Birds know no borders; migration routes cross countries and even continents. BirdLife International is the largest nature conservation partnership in the world. Together with our national partners, we’re working to protect migratory birds at a flyway scale – but we need your help.
With your support, we can combat human threats to migratory birds at their wintering, breeding and stopover grounds and take targeted conservation action to end illegal killing at some of the worst blackspots along the African-Eurasian flyway.