Anti-poaching activities


Prevention of violations of nature conservation legislation and combat against poaching are some of our main areas of activity. Our activities are directed towards the following issues:

Illegal hunting

The uncontrolled increase of the number of hunters, the lowered requirements for obtaining hunting permits as well as the lack of responsibility among many of the hunters all cause the death of hundreds of birds of rare species.

For the past 10 years, Green Balkans has implemented several campaigns targeting the illegal hunting.
- Campaign against changes in the duration of the hunting season for migratory waterfowl and the beginning of the hunting season;
- Campaign to protect key wintering sites of globally threatened waterfowl species;
- National campaign to combat poaching in wetlands.

Our activities are focused on:
- program to control poaching in wetlands – carrying out examinations in wetlands and wintering sites of great conservation significance for waterfowl, implementing joint examinations with the responsible institutions and alarming them in case of detected violations;
- program for conservation of the Red-breasted goose – aimed at preventing the poaching and disturbance of this globally threatened species, as these are among the main threats for the successful wintering of the species in our country. The program is being implemented in the area of the Shabla and Durankulak Lakes in NE Bulgaria;
- regular guarding of the roosting sites of Pygmy cormorants and the nests of Imperial eagles, aimed at preventing illegal hunting and disturbance during the periods of critical importance for the survival of these species.

Illegal fishing

The actions aim at signalizing of violations as well as implementing joint examinations with foresters. The most effective actions were carried out at the Ivailovgrad Dam in the period 2001-2003. As a result of some 15 examination, over 30 km of fishing nets illegally set during the fish breeding season were confiscated and burnt.

Combat against illegal felling and poaching in the forests

Our activities are directed towards investigation of perpetrated violations and document frauds, as well as cases of corruption and financial violations in the forest sector.
Almost 300 investigations and examinations on signals of illegal felling and corruption in the forest sector have been carried out until now. Voluntary forest protection system has been established involving people from all over the country, sending signals in case of violations and assisting us in the implementation of investigations. Tens of thousand forests of high conservation value have been saved.
You can read more about our work for protection of forests HERE.

Campaign against the possession and exhibition of stuffed animals of protected species

The Biodiversity Act bans the possession and exhibition of stuffed protected species (unless there is an exclusive permission from the Minister of Environment and Waters). Despite that, tens of birds of prey and other protected species are being shot in order to be stuffed and displayed in pubs, restaurants and private collections.
In order to prevent such violations we are working together with the responsible institutions (RIEW) for carrying out joint examinations and confiscating the illegally kept specimens.

Campaign against the illegal trade in wild species

Bulgarian Biodiversity Act bans the possession, display with trade purposes, and trade in protected species, including all song and raptor bird species, tortoises, etc. Despite that, tens of specimens are being illegally traded and that really jeopardizes their existence in nature. The problem exists all over the world, as tens of species face extinction due to illegal traffic and trapping.
Green Balkans is actively working for applying both the Bulgarian and international legislation through the following campaigns:

International trade in endangered flora and fauna species

Trade in wild animals and plants is one of the factors endangering their survival in their natural environment. Every year, millions of animals and plants are taken from the wild for private interests. On a global scale, some 30 thousand monkeys, 2 millions of orchids, 2-5 millions of birds, 10 millions of reptiles, etc. are illegally traded on an annual basis. Many species have already gone extinct or face extinction due to illegal trade

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Illegal trade in wild song birds

The Biological Diversity Act protects all song bird species by prohibiting any form of catching, killing, persecution, disturbance, keeping, transportation, trading, and stuffing therein, as well as destruction and collection of their eggs. However, the beautiful songs and colors of wild song birds make them victims to illegal hunting and trade, thus endangering the species’ survival in the wild.

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