An Important Step Towards the Conservation of Endangered Migratory Birds

Photo: The Bird Protection and Study Society of Serbia

The Bird Protection and Study Society of Serbia (BPSSS) welcomes the recent amendments to The Rulebook on Declaring a Closed Hunting Season for the Protected Wild Game Species, which established changes in the hunting season of three endangered wild bird species in Serbia.

At the end of August, the amendments to the Rulebook were agreed by the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management and the Minister of Environmental Protection.

The mentioned document introduces a temporary ban on Turtle Dove hunting, which lasts until August 14, 2024, and includes two hunting seasons. A temporary ban on hunting is also introduced for Grey Partridges and it will last until October 14, 2024, or three hunting seasons. From next year, the hunting season for Common Quails will be shortened and will last from August 15 until September 30.

“We see changes in the hunting season for Turtle Dove, Grey Partridge and Common Quail as a way to a permanent ban on hunting these migratory bird species. All three have the status of vulnerable species (VU) on the Red List of Birds of Serbia. Ornithologists in Serbia have been fighting since 2001 to end hunting on endangered migratory birds, especially Turtle Doves and Common Quails since their populations are decimated, habitats degraded or lost, and hunting in Serbia is extremely poorly regulated and controlled”, said Milan Ružić, Executive Director of the Bird Protection and Study Society of Serbia.

Ornithologists from BPSSS state that it is necessary to make additional efforts to permanently protect a larger number of bird species that are now considered game species, and whose populations in Serbia are endangered.

Among them is the Bean Goose, whose global population has experienced a dramatic decline of almost 80 percent, while in Serbia it is recorded irregularly and in extremely small numbers, plus marked as a critically endangered species (CR) on the national Red List. Permanent protection is also needed for the Common Pochard and Garganey, whose numbers are declining globally and regionally, while in Serbia they have the status of endangered species (EN).

Source: The Bird Protection and Study Society of Serbia