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Serbian Conservationists Plea

Efforts To Introduce A Quail And Turtle Dove Hunting Ban In Serbia & Montenegro

Many of you will have read of the efforts by the League for the Ornithological Action of Serbia and Montenegro and others to have Common Quail Coturnix coturnix and Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur removed from the game bird list in their country and permanently prohibit any further hunting of these species.

Although traditionally, these two species are not of interest to local hunters they are mainly offered as game birds to visiting foreign hunters (predominantly Italian) and are therefore under intense hunting pressure during autumn migration in Serbia. Serbian law presently allows the hunting of both species from 1 August to 30 September. They are fully protected in neighbouring countries (e.g. Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovenia). Other species are as course at risks as hunters do not distinguish themselves by their identification skills; but operate mainly under the motto: when something flies shoot it!Conservation organisations in Serbia and Montenegro are therefore urging the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry to change the legal status of these two species in the Law on Hunting, Game Hunting Seasons Order and Natural Rarities Protection Order. A permanent hunting ban is proposed on both species in Serbia, as well as removal from the game bird lists and inclusion in the List of Natural Rarities.

Dragan Simic, Proact coordinator and Chair, League for the Ornithological Action of Serbia and Montenegro, described the current state of affairs as follows in a virtual interview:There's no point in putting any pressure on local decision-making politicians at present, as parliamentary elections took place only two weeks ago and we are still waiting for the new Parliament members to be appointed and to meet for the first time. Our next step will be to ask the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection where they stand on the hunting ban issue, and pressing for an official meeting at a decision-making level. We do not want to alienate the Ministry before that. Only if their reaction is negative will we opt for some international pressure.

David Conlin founder of Proact, said today: We should be prepared to support the Serbia and Montenegro conservationists later this year if they are unsuccessful in their negotiations.

4th July 2014