That is why it’s outrageous to see in modern editions of the pigeon-breeders (particularly, the paper by V. Trigub in ‘Vestnik Golubevoda’ (Pigeon-breeder’s Herald), 2007, Iss. 7, 8) barbarian calls for exterminating raptors by all possible means as if they irretrievably harmed the pigeon-breeding. Knowledge of birds of prey is surprisingly poor among the pigeon-breeders. Such publications by them demonstrate that in spite of being excellent experts in pigeons their knowledge of other birds, raptors in particular, is scanty, they do not differentiate them and have low awareness of their ecology.
The papers of such kind brought about thoughts about a role of humanity in the fortune of nature. We think there is a necessity to search for weighed solution of this problem taking into consideration both interests of the pigeon-breeders and needs of birds of prey. Moreover, the pigeon-breeders already have solid experience in reducing loss caused by raptors (A.D. Mikheev, ‘Vestnik Golubevoda’, 2007, Iss. 8; Patoka 1995; Aksenov, Timoshevsky 1994; Chebanov 1997 et al.).
These materials prepared by us open a series of papers dedicated to this topic. We invite all people interested in this problem to discuss relations between the pigeon-breeding and birds of prey at our website pages.
The inevitable occurred, and the long-awaited 3d international conference “Birds of Prey of Ukraine” already held successfully.
For me, conferences look like meetings of friends – some you meet often, others you haven’t seen for ages. On arriving you also see new faces. This time it was similar.
The conference gathered many people in love with birds of prey. They had a lot to discuss. Undoubtedly, importance of the conference was added by participation of Russian and Byelorussian colleagues, represented by such well-known ornithologists as V.M. Galushin, V.P. Belik, V.V. Ivanovsky, L.V. Malovichko. Among other Byelorussian colleagues of ‘young and middle generation’ it was pleasant to see V.Ch. Dombrovsky, D.E. Vinchevsky, D.A. Kitel, taking active part in the conference.
Photos by: S.A. Gladkevich, E.V. Gugueva, M.N. Gavrilyuk, K.A. Pismennyi, N.M. Seliverstov
Probably many participants wondered why the conference is called ‘third’. All doubts were cleared up by Vladimir Strigunov, the Chairman of Working Group of Falcons and Owls of Ukraine. The first workshop was in 1985, Melitopol, the second in 1988, Kyiv, during the second conference on birds of prey of the USSR.
Two attempts of illegal transportation of falcons were registrated during last month in Ukraine.
Cases of detention of illegally transported falcons by customs officers in Ukrainian airports have been already known. For instance, in 2002 Donetsk Airport suppressed exportation of three Gyrfalcons and six Sakers. After that, the birds were given to Kyiv Zoo. In 2005, Zaporizhzhia customs stopped an attempt of transportation of a falcon consignment (probably transit through Ukraine), comprising over 40 birds. In 2006, five Gyrfalcons were detained in the airport of Borispol, and due to unknown motives given to the Ukrainian Children Ecological and Naturalistic Centre (UCENC). Conditions of bird- keeping did not correspond to the norms prescribed for such cases, and the keeper in the UCENC was unqualified. As a result, birds began getting sick and die. It is strange, that the director of UCENC did not want to part with falcons until the last moment, and did not address for help to experts of Kyiv Zoo.
The year 2008 was also fruitful with detentions of illegal consignments of falcons by the customs of Borispol Airport. October 10, during customs examination of passengers of the flight Kyiv-Damask there were detained a consignment of 9 birds. According to our data it included the Gyrfalcon, Peregrine and 7 Sakers, all in awful condition. And again, due to inexplicable reasons these falcons were given to UCENC. The situation repeated with a bad scenario for the forfeited birds. To-date we know that one Saker died. There is also a suspicion that some birds were substituted for less “marketable” individuals.