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.com.ua.
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 email@example.com. 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
An expedition was undertaken during the last decade of May 2009 in the framework of the project supported by the Falcon Research Centre (United Kingdom). The aim was to reveal the sites, suitable to set up nest boxes for Saker Falcons on poles of power lines.
The participants of the expeditions were Vitaly Vetrov, Sergey Domashevsky and Elena Vetrova. In the first place they investigated the power lines adjoined the sites with good food resource (colonies of small sousliks, rooks, gulls and other species of birds) and with absence of territorial pairs of ravens (main suppliers of nests for falcons) or human disturbance factor.
Territories of Kherson region, Zaporizhzhya region and Crimean Autonomous Republic were studied by car ‘Niva’. The route crossed both virgin steppes and agricultural landscapes. The points interested for the project were fixed with GPS. A total of 49 points, prospective for further setting up of nest boxes, were identified.
Steppes and agrocoenoses of the Central and North Crimea, south areas of Kherson region and Zaporizhzhya region were rather thoroughly investigated. In a total, the expedition covered over 2,500 km.