Reducing Illegal Bird Killing Along Egypt’s Mediterranean Coast
Egypt is located on the southern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, and thus situated on internationally important migration routes for birds travelling between their breeding grounds in Eurasia and their wintering sites in Africa. Each spring and autumn, many millions of birds make the journey across the Mediterranean, including large proportions of the world populations of many European migrants.
On the African-Eurasian flyway, 64 (34%) of the 188 passerine migrants are in decline. Major declines have been detected in iconic species such as Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica), Eurasian Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus), Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava) and European Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur), whilst species such as Red-backed Shrike (Lanius collurio) and Eurasian Wryneck (Jynx torquilla) have suffered massive reductions in distribution and are already missing from large swathes of their former ranges.
The hunting of migratory birds in Egypt is an ancient practice that has endured for centuries and has developed into a significant socio-economic activity in the region, particularly in rural areas. It has been estimated to involve hundreds of thousands of people supporting a variety of groups at both subsistence and livelihoods levels.
Coastal Trammel Nets
The primary quarry species is Quail (Coturnix coturnix), but the nature of the hunting techniques is indiscriminate, resulting in a wide range of other migrant species also being caught. Trapped birds are offered as a delicacy for human consumption via markets and in restaurants across Egypt.
Some smaller species of birds of prey such as Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus), Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) and Merlin (Falco columbarius) are attracted by the already trapped songbirds and become entangled themselves. Larger falcons, such as the Saker (Falco cherrug) and Peregrine (Falco peregrinus) are also caught for falconry in significant numbers, using specialized trapping techniques.
Goal and Purpose of the project
Bird trapping activities along the Mediterranean coasts of Egypt are legal and sustainable.
The current bird trapping practices are well understood and measures are put in place to end illegal and unsustainable practices.
Objective 1: To increase knowledge of the scale, conservation impact, socio-economic and legal aspects of bird trapping.
Objective 2: To ensure that effective legislation and regulations are in place and are properly enforced.
Objective 3: To build capacity of Government institutions, NGOs and local communities to effectively address the bird trapping issue.
Objective 4: To increase awareness locally, nationally and internationally, in order to promote bird conservation.
- Studies (Socioeconomic, Legal Review, Monitoring reports)
- Enforcement & Legislation
- Capacity building (training workshops)
- Awareness & Education (meetings with local communities)