Hellenic Ornithological Society, photo: G.Alexandris
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November 11, 2018
Poison baits are killing Greece’s wildlife once again!

Although the Egyptian vultures might now be wintering in Sub-Saharan Africa, poison baits continue to threat and kill Greece’s wildlife and thus the Hellenic Ornithological Society carries on with its antipoison work. Just last October, HOS’ Antipoison Dog Unit had to deal with two poisoning incidents in less than two weeks.

The first incident took place in the Meteora region, one of the last two remaining Egyptian vulture’s strongholds in Greece, while the second incident took place in the middle of the protected area of the National Park of Tzoumerka, Acheloos valley, Agrafa and Meteora.

In the Meteora region case (Agia Paraskevi, Koniskos) 17 paraffin baits containing cyanide were found. The baits were "strategically" placed at intersections and car parks, next to the road. During the field investigation a dog and a fox were also found dead.

In the Tzoumerka region case (Anthousa, Aspropotamos), HOS was informed of the presence of a dead wolf in the area. During the field investigation the dead wolf was found, showing obvious signs of poisoning while next to it were also the remains of a dead cow (hide, legs). The cow was most probably the actual poison bait, and had been left on the side of the road where cars often stop.

It’s worth mentioning that as HOS team was approaching the poison event site, one of the cows that were grazing nearby was observed licking the poisoned carcass. The animal was immediately removed to prevent further poisoning. However, the serious dangers that poison baits pose to public health become obvious once again.

All the above mentioned fieldwork was carried out by the HOS team in cooperation with the Forestry Services of Kalampaka, the Management Authority of the National Park of Tzoumerka, Acheloos valley, Agrafa and Meteora and the 5th  Hunting Federation of Epirus. The immediate and effective management of these incidents shows just how important awareness and cooperation of the competent local authorities and bodies are in order to quickly remove poison baits from the environment.

The Hellenic Ornithological Society’s Antipoison Dog Unit’s work is carried out within the framework of the Egyptian Vulture New LIFE Project, funded by the European Commission and the A.G. Leventis Foundation.






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