Albania’s Hunting Ban: Birds and Mammals Get a Two-Year Break


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Source National Geographic
By Mel White

Vast numbers of European birds and other wildlife will be spared from illegal slaughter, thanks to a two-year moratorium on all hunting enacted by the government of Albania.

The Balkan country, which lies along a major migratory flyway, encompasses wetlands and other habitats that provide crucial refueling stops for millions of migrating birds. But poor law enforcement, a surge in gun ownership, and an influx of foreign hunters had made Albania essentially a year-round shooting range. Targets were not just game species but also eagles, cranes, shorebirds, and even small songbirds.

“Albania was a death trap for migrating birds,” said Gabriel Schwaderer, executive director of the conservation organization EuroNatur.

It wasn’t just birds that suffered, according to Schwaderer. To study the critically endangered Balkan lynx, EuroNatur set up automatic cameras in mountainous areas, documenting all passing animals. Mammals such as…

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