Problem of exploitation of birds of prey by photographers

Dear ornithologists and birdwatchers! We would like to continue the discussion started at our webpages on exploitation of birds of prey by photographers.

Reasons AGAINST EXPLOITATION of birds of prey for photographing with tourists:

1) Taking birds of any species away from nature is forbidden and requires a special permission. This is violation of the Law of Ukraine “About Animal World” (2002) and is an administrative offence. If a species is listed in the Red Data Book of Ukraine (1996) the use of such birds is also the violation of the Regulation on the Red Data Book of Ukraine approved by the Supreme Council (Verkhovna Rada) of Ukraine in 2002. If revealed the use of red list species entails considerable compensation (penalty).

2) Being chicks or old ones – birds used for photographing are taken away from nature. This fact brings about decline in natural populations. It is especially crucial for rare species number of which in some regions can constitute only of several pairs.

3) As a rule, wild birds are kept in unsatisfactory conditions. People which look after them haven’t necessary skills of keeping birds of prey. As a consequence, birds get ill, injured and don’t live for long. Also, it is not humane in respect to birds which suffer from serious stress in this case.

4) People demonstrate a low level of their ecological culture if taking pictures with birds of prey.

Wide distribution of such a “business” at the present moment is confirmed not only by quantity of the birds proposed for photographing in places of mass recreation. Recently, it is also quickly developing the trade of birds of prey exactly for aims of taking pictures. See, for instance, the site ЗооРынок

Now it is holiday time, and many of us actively spend it at the seaside. At present we know that raptors are used by photographers, but a real scale of this phenomenon is rather difficult to estimate. If you see birds of prey in these situations please write comments to this publication, and send photo of birds to our email This data will give us possibility to plan better activity to prevent and work against this distractive event.

It is necessary also to explain that it is the demand which causes supply. Don’t take pictures with wild birds and explain to others why it should not be done!

Maxim Gavrilyuk, Sergey Domashevsky

1 Comment

  1. George Telford says:

    My recent vist to Odessa in Ukraine saw several differant raptors used as photo props..near potempkyn steps..Not in very good condition I may add..SHAME ON YOU ODESSA for letting this happen to such magnificent creatures

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