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Czech and Slovak Zoos join together against the massacre of migratory birds in the Medditerranean

UCSZOO

BirdLife International estimates that 25 million migratory birds are killed illegally every year in the Mediterranean. These include songbirds, waterfowl, turtle doves or birds of prey. They fly over the Mediterranean on their way to and from their nesting places and include “Czechoslovak” species. The Union of Czech and Slovak Zoological Gardens (UCSZOO) has decided to draw attention to this alarming situation. That is why it has lined the roads leading from Prague and Bratislava airports to the respective capitals’ centres with billboards graphically illustrating the massacre of migratory birds.

“The situation is dismal, and we have no idea how many birds killed in this manner come from the Czech Republic or Slovakia. It’s certainly not a small amount. One of the important tasks of zoos is to protect biodiversity, so we do not want to stand idly by whilst this monstrous massacre of birds takes place. Even without it, bird species in Europe are declining dramatically due to changes in the landscape,” said UCSZOO President Erich Kočner, explaining the reasons for the campaign.

According to the only relevant investigation so far, carried out by BirdLife International, of the 25,000,000 birds, most of them nesting on the European continent, 20,200,000 are songbirds (including some 2,900,000 common chaffinches and 1,800,000 Eurasian blackcaps), approximately 1,800,000 are waterfowl, 700,000 are pigeons and turtle doves with roughly 100,000 birds of prey. These birds are shot, caught in nets, on glue or trapped, that being for fun, food or cage farming.

“Not even some of the European Union countries, especially Italy and France, are able to comply with what they signed up to with the Bonn and Berne Conventions as well as the European Wild Birds Directive,” said Prague Zoo’s director Miroslav Bobek. “The purpose of this campaign is to draw attention to the problem of illegal hunting. But it’s not only for Italian, French and other tourists coming to Prague and Bratislava, we also want to stimulate media interest in our country and abroad.”

Last year, Miroslav Bobek called on Czech MEPs to act on illegal bird hunting. At the time several MEPs took up the challenge, in particular RNDr. Pavel Poc, who interpellated the European Commission and subsequently the Environment Commissioner Karmen Vella on the matter. Prague Zoo also organized a seminar on the subject in April 2018.

 

UCSZOO’s current outdoor campaign will run until the end of August. Four billboards have been placed along Prague’s Evropská Street, five of them are in Bratislava: on Ivanská cesta, at the exit from the airport, on Bajkalská and Vanorská streets and on Trnavské mýto.

 

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BirdLife International estimates that 25 million migratory birds are illegally killed each year in the Mediterranean. The Union of Czech and Slovak Zoological Gardens (UCSZOO) has decided to draw attention to this alarming situation with an outdoor campaign. Photo: Petr Hamerník, Prague Zoo.

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The Union of Czech and Slovak Zoological Gardens has placed billboards along the roads leading from Prague and Bratislava airports to the respective centres of these capitals. They highlight the massacre of migratory birds in the Mediterranean. Four billboards line Prague’s Evropská Street. Photo: Petr Hamerník, Prague Zoo.

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Five billboards highlighting the massacres of migratory birds in the Mediterranean have been placed in Bratislava: on Ivanská cesta, at the exit from the airport, on Bajkalská and Vanorská streets and on on Trnavské mýto. Photo: Zoo Bratislava.

 

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