Prague Zoo Against the Massacres of Migratory Birds


29. 04. 2018

This afternoon, a seminar was held at Prague Zoo addressing the issue of the illegal hunting of migratory birds in the Mediterranean, particularly with regards to certain EU countries. Among the guests that took part were RNDr. Pavel Poc, a Member of the European Parliament and Vice-chairman of the E.P. Environment Committee.

Photo: Václav Šilha, Prague Zoo Photo: Václav Šilha, Prague Zoo

The Mediterranean - including the EU countries, such as Italy and Greece - remains a lethal zone for migratory birds. According to a survey published in 2015 by Birdlife International, 25,000,000 wild birds are killed here annually, mostly illegally. Of these 25 million birds, most of which would nest on the European continent, and thus in our country too, there are 20,200,000 songbirds, more than 1,800,000 water fowl, 700,000 pigeons and doves, and 100,000 birds of prey.

“One of the important tasks of zoos is to protect biodiversity,” said Miroslav Bobek, director of Prague Zoo. “In the name of protecting endangered species, we call on the inhabitants of distant lands not to cut down their forests and not to hunt their animals, so if we overlook the fact that there is an unprecedented massacre of migratory birds right here inside the European Union, we will lose all credibility.”

Today’s seminar ties in with Prague Zoo’s initiative, when its director Miroslav Bobek called on Czech MEPs to take action on illegal bird hunting. Several MEPs took up the call, in particular RNDr. Pavel Poc, who lobbied the European Commission in this matter. Following an unsatisfactory response, he subsequently went on to address the EP’s Nature Conservation Committee and Karmenu Vella the EU’s Environment Commissioner.

Prague Zoo likewise invited the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA) to take an active part in this endeavour.