Advertising poaching of protected species by yours truly… the President of a local hunting club!
The President of a local hunting club in northern Greece acts in “exemplary” manner, by posting photographs of shot protected species of waterbirds on social media. A relevant evidence file has been prepared on the President and the case now rests with the district attorney.
The uploaded photos that have been since removed from the Presidents’ personal facebook account, also advertised organized waterfowl hunting trips, while at the same time showing off the waterfowl harvest of the President and his company. In particular, a number of shot birds can be seen amongst which some belong to the Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna) and Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) species. Greek National Law forbids hunting of these species, while they are both characterized as “Vulnerable” by the Red Data Book of Greece. The Ruddy Shelduck especially, is listed in Annex I of the European Bird Directive, which means that it a species that is strictly protected also on a European level.
It is important to note that identifying the particular species does not require specialized skill, especially for a “hunter” who represent officially the Hunting Club in which he is a member and president, as the species have particularly distinctive plumage and are of relatively large size. Additionally, the male and the female of these species are very similar, contrary to other species of duck in GREECE.
Konstantina Ntemiri, Policy Officer at the Hellenic Ornithological Society, stated: “We are very worried from such an online post, as it does not only advertise an illegal action but also because the suspect was, at least at the time of the posting, the President of a local hunting club. Local hunting clubs are officially endorsed by the Ministry of Environment and Energy in Greece, are supervised by the local Forest Service, and are under the administration of the district Hunting Federation. One would expect that Hunting Club Presidents, respecting their elected role, would set a good example on the battle against illegal killing. On the contrary in this case, the President not only broke the law by killing protected species and shamelessly publicizing his actions, but since then he put himself up to being re-elected at the same Hunting Club! We would expect that the leadership of the hunting community in Greece would condemn such an incident, show zero tolerance and remove poachers from it circles. Justice has now the final Word”.
Picture 1: Post at the facebook page of the local hunting club President (February 2014) that advertise organized waterfowl hunting trips, while at the same time showing off his illegally killed waterfowl harvest (Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna and Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea).
Picture 2: The President of the local Hunting Club with a person (at the right) who keeps a dead Ruddy Shelduck, a species that is forbidden to kill by the Greek National Law, while it is characterized as “Vulnerable” by the Red Data Book of Greece. The post has many Likes as well as “well done” comments.
Picture 3: Post at the facebook page of the local hunting club President, of a person with illegally killed ducks: Common Shelduck (1,2,3,6,7,8) and Ruddy Shelduck (4,5).
The illegal killing campaign in the wetlands of Northern Greece is implemented by the Hellenic Ornithological Society and the Hellenic Ministry of Environment and Energy in the framework of the LIFE+ Nature Project “Safeguarding the Lesser White-fronted Goose Fennoscandian population in key wintering and staging sites within the European flyway” (LIFE10 NAT/GR/000638).
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