Target: Prime Minister Hisham Mohamed Qandil of Egypt
Goal: Regulate bird hunting in Egypt in order to preserve populations of migratory birds.
Some communities hunt migratory birds for sustenance and to partake in an ancient recreational tradition. At one time traditional methods, including traps made of plant fibers, handmade nets, and limited transportation via foot or camel, may have been sustainable. New technology like powerful firearms and vehicles that expose hunters to more bird habitat than previously possible have increased the harvest of migratory birds to the extent of decimating their populations. Large-scale hunters selling their harvests for profit use trammel nets hung from trees to capture large numbers of migrating birds flying from across the Mediterranean. This method captures flying species that are not targeted, such as bats and very small songbirds that do not provide more than a bite of meat.
The convergence of political turmoil, poverty, and various environmental conditions including pollution and desertification exacerbate the overhunting of birds in Egypt. In order for a country to conserve its natural resources, it needs strong legal infrastructure to enforce environmental laws and to prioritize conservation issues. Unfortunately, some parties view environmental conservation as secondary to immediate economic relief, unwisely ignoring the potential to generate income from both non-consumptive activities like ecotourism and the sustainable consumptive practice of regulated hunting.
In addition to implementing laws to regulate bird hunting, the government should also encourage wide cooperation by placing power in the hands of members of the community including hunters. Hunters can work with rangers and conservationists to manage populations by performing bird surveys and sharing their specialized knowledge on species behavior and abundance. Engaging the community with education outreach and providing alternative ways to make a living and take authority in managing their resources will increase the likelihood of successfully saving bird populations from overhunting.
Protect migratory birds in Egypt from indiscriminate unregulated hunting practices by signing this petition.
Dear Prime Minister Hisham Mohamed Qandil of Egypt,
Migratory birds, many of which are listed as globally threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List, and people of Egypt who benefit from shared stewardship over these culturally important animals are in desperate need of a system to regulate hunting activity. I urge Egypt’s government to implement laws that will protect migratory birds from overhunting and encourage the success of tenable conservation plans by empowering the community to participate in monitoring species and amounts hunted.
Currently millions of birds are trapped and slaughtered in Egypt each year. Enforcing laws that require sustainable hunting practices will secure populations of birds to be enjoyed by future generations for a variety of income generating, educational, and recreational purposes that can improve the lives of the people of Egypt. Please protect the wellbeing of your nation’s community by prioritizing the conservation of their natural resources.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Sue Kellerman via Flickr