As hunting season in Cyprus opened yesterday (sorry, I don’t currently have a good link for that), my timing for this post couldn’t be better. Hunting here is of birds, and migratory birds in particular. With that in mind, BirdLife International has an article out on sustainable hunting.
In a practical sense, this is very akin to the development of sustainable ocean fisheries (see Deep Sea News for more on the need for that). This is directed specifically at the countries bordering the Eastern Mediterranean.
Now, I’d be more than happy to have all hunting of migratory birds outlawed completely, as it is in North America. But okay, I’ll be practical, and settle for actions such as the just-ended Sustainable Hunting Project to “strengthen the management of bird hunting, reduce excessive, indiscriminant and illegal hunting of migratory birds, and enhance compliance with the international and regional agreements on migratory bird conservation.”
As [Society of the Protection of Nature in Lebanon] Assistant Director General Bassima Khatib describes the problem: “Hunters think that migratory birds have large populations and contribute no value to the ecosystem, thus migratory species are more vulnerable to hunting than local species.”
Unfortunately, the program was only for three years and is completed now. Greater persistence is required to change attitudes so deeply a part of cultures.
Image: S Baha El Din/BirdLife