Active Work with Hunters in Kalmykia Precedes the Spring Hunting

On February 19, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Kalmykia hosted a meeting with hunters on the issues of opening spring hunting in the Republic. The meeting was also attended by the director of the state reserve “Black Lands” Bataar Ubushaev, who addressed the audience stressing on the ethics of hunting and protection of rare and endangered species of birds. In particular, much attention was paid to the protection of rare species of geese – Red-breasted Goose and Lesser White-fronted Goose. According to an oral poll among hunters, rare species of geese sometimes fall victim, being in mixed flocks with White-fronted Geese, especially at dusk. Dr. Ubushaev urged hunters to work more actively in this direction with local hunting groups and individual hunters

The result of the meeting was the signing of the trilateral agreement between the State Nature Reserve “Chernie Zemli”, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection and the Republican Association of Hunters and Fishermen of Kalmykia on the preservation of rare species of geese listed in the Red Book of the Russian Federation on the territory of the Republic of Kalmykia – Red-breasted goose and goose – Lesser White-fronted Goose.

To all participants of the meeting distributed copies of leaflets and posters devoted to the protection of rare species of Anseriformes to further distribution among hunters, published as part of the awareness activities of the “LIFE for Safe Flight” Project LIFE16/NAT/BG000847.

The spring hunting in Russia is one of the problematic issues for migratory waterbirds and specifically for the Red-breasted Goose. Evaluation of available data on faith of tagged Redbreasts showed extremely high percentage of mortality on an annual base. Therefore control on hunting and reducing the disturbance impact and poaching incidents are key aspects of the current LIFE Project along the flyway of the species.

Kalmykia is a bottle-neck area for the migration of the Red-breasted Goose where almost the whole global population is passing though twice a year staging in the Manych Gudilo lowlands. Just to remind that couple of the Redbreasts tagged with satellite transmitters during the LIFE Project “Safe Ground for Redbreast” were shot in Kalmykia, which indicates the existing problem there. This year the spring hunting on geese will close on 13th March. Let’s hope that no Redbreasts will fall victim of illegal shooting.