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Talks aim for cross-border protection of birds of prey

Some 51 per cent of African-Eurasian migratory raptor species have an "unfavourable" conservation status. John O'Sullivan, of Birdlife International, a global alliance of conservation organisations, said: "We have recently heard about the sad case of the golden eagle being poisoned in Scotland, but birds of prey face additional problems trying to settle in networks of suitable habitats along their migration paths. We know little about the status of raptors in Africa, and in Asia species are poorly understood." The main threats to the birds, Mr O'Sullivan said, were habitat loss, illegal hunting, power lines, and wind farm initiatives.

A PLAN to safeguard migrating birds of prey took its first steps yesterday with the start of talks aiming to agree an international protocol.

Though much work has been done in Europe in recent years to protect migrant raptors, the population and welfare of the birds across large swathes of Africa and Asia remain unclear.

Now, delegates from across the world have gathered in Scotland in the first move towards a global plan to tighten up legislation across nations and protect the birds' habitats. The initiative would run for five years and cost around 1.1 million.

The International Conference on Migratory Raptors, which runs until Thursday at Cameron House Hotel on Loch Lomond, hopes to formalise a memorandum of understanding in advance of any internationally binding laws.

RSPB Scotland has welcomed the move, saying it will improve protection of species such as the osprey, which can migrate to regions in west Africa.

Michael Russell, the environment minister, said yesterday: "We can learn from other countries in the same way they can learn from us. At the end of the event there will be a draft agreement."

Some 51 per cent of African-Eurasian migratory raptor species have an "unfavourable"... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

A PLAN to safeguard migrating birds of prey took its first steps yesterday with the start of talks aiming to agree an international protocol.

Though much work has been done in Europe in recent years to protect migrant raptors, the population and welfare of the birds across large swathes of Africa and Asia remain unclear.

Now, delegates from across the world have gathered in Scotland in the first move towards a global plan to tighten up legislation across nations and protect the birds' habitats. The initiative would run for five years and cost around £1.1 million.

The International Conference on Migratory Raptors, which runs until Thursday at Cameron House Hotel on Loch Lomond, hopes to formalise a memorandum of understanding in advance of any internationally binding laws.

RSPB Scotland has welcomed the move, saying it will improve protection of species such as the osprey, which can migrate to regions in west Africa.

Michael Russell, the environment minister, said yesterday: "We can learn from other countries in the same way they can learn from us. At the end of the event there will be a draft agreement."

Some 51 per cent of African-Eurasian migratory raptor species have an "unfavourable" conservation status.

John O'Sullivan, of Birdlife International, a global alliance of conservation organisations, said: "We have recently heard about the sad case of the golden eagle being poisoned in Scotland, but birds of prey face additional problems trying to settle in networks of suitable habitats along their migration paths. We know little about the status of raptors in Africa, and in Asia species are poorly understood." The main threats to the birds, Mr O'Sullivan said, were habitat loss, illegal hunting, power lines, and wind farm initiatives.

The memorandum of understanding aims to pool countries' resources and share data, to clarify worldwide migration patterns.

"There are clearly key data gaps and major problems about illegal hunting and pesticide use in some countries, even in the 21st century. We have to engage with these governments and their people," Mr O'Sullivan added.

A spokesman for RSPB Scotland said: "Some birds migrate from Scotland to areas where their welfare is not a priority, and they do face threats. Any international agreement which improves their protection can only be a good thing.

"Only last month, a spectacular number of ospreys migrated to Malta and Cyprus, and they were targeted by hunters. These countries need to learn that instead of attracting people with guns, these birds can be an economic boon and usher in tourists.

"It's an education issue. A lot of countries are culturally different in their understanding of birds of prey."

This article: http://news.scotsman.com/scotland.cfm?id=1687422007

Last updated: 23-Oct-07 01:04 BST

 


Source: http://news.scotsman.com/sc...

OCT 23 2007
http://www.windaction.org/posts/11575-talks-aim-for-cross-border-protection-of-birds-of-prey
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