Keep Calm and Carrion

IAF March eBulletin - "Keep Calm and Let Africa Take the Lead": EU-Africa Dialogue supporting communities in wildlife conservation

IAF secretariat attended this event in the European Parliament which included high level participation from nations in Southern Africa whose falconers are members of IAF. Of particular relevance to falconry was the consensus that CITES (dominated by Europe) does not recognize conservation successes and is frequently obstructive to trade in species that science and science-led population-counts have clearly demonstrated that controlled trade with community involvement would be of positive conservation value.

The highest populations of large game in Africa are in countries where hunting and trade is allowed, where communities are involved. A similar scenario exists globally for raptors – countries where falconry is allowed and where there is a sustainable wild-harvest, have the healthiest raptor populations.

The event was under the leadership of the European Parliamentary Intergroup "Biodiversity, Hunting, Countryside”, chaired by MEP Karl-Heinz Florenz and funded by FACE, CIC, the European Landowners organization and Safari Club International. 

Extract from the FACE report:

"Brussels, 9 March 2018 - There are "winners" and "losers" in the conservation of wildlife in Africa, H.E. the Ambassador of Zimbabwe proclaimed at the conference "Keep Calm and Let Africa Take the Lead. The EU-Africa Dialogue: Supporting communities in wildlife conservation" on 6 March 2018 at the European Parliament in Brussels. He stated that Southern African nations were amongst the "winners" with increasing national wildlife populations."

Extract from the CIC Newsletter:

"Ali Kaka, Vice President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the largest umbrella organization for nature conservation organizations in the world, a national of Kenya, moderated the discussion and encouraged interventions and questions from the audience.

The panelists explained to an audience that included Members of the European Parliament, representatives from the EU Commissions and leaders in the hunting and sustainable use community, how hunting in Africa contributes significantly to wildlife conservation"

Citizen science application - Invasive alien species in Europe

There is an application for Apple and Android smartphone devices called “Invasive Alien Species Europe”, which allows users to report the presence of the 37 species currently listed as Invasive Alien Species (IAS) of Union concern (EU Regulation 1143/2014) on the European territory. User friendly factsheets and pictures guide the user towards the species likely to have been observed. Once validated, data will be fed into the European Alien Species Information Network (EASIN). The App is expected to stimulate citizens’ awareness to the IAS issues and to involve them in IAS monitoring and reporting. In addition, the information generated through the App could supplement Member States Competent Authorities surveillance systems. The App can be downloaded for free onto your mobile from Google Play and the Apple Store

Latin American Working Group

On March 3rd 2018, there was a meeting of the Latin American Working Group of the International Association of Falconry (IAF), among several subjects discussed, it was decided that as a starting point for all projects was the realization of a sense based in the falconry of the Latin american countries, like: number of formal and informal associations, if there is a law related to falconry, among other points.

- Leonardo Vargas (Coordenador)
- Dorival Lima (ANF Brasil)
- Carlos Canelo (COMAC)
- Tatiana Rivarola (ACCAPP Paraguay)
- Adrian Reuter (IAF)
- Sérgio Fazio (Argentina)
- Carlos Cruz (Mexico)
- William Jimenez
- Luis Alberto Cayo
- Elsy Cabrera (Mexico)
- Salvador Garcilita
- Fran (Spain)
- Alef Martinez (Mexico)

For more information contact Leonardo Vargas  leonardobiomex@gmail.com

All-Russian Ornithological Congress in Tver, Russia 29 Jan - 4 Feb 2018

On behalf of IAF, Jevgeni Shergalin participated in the 1st all-Russian Ornithological Congress in Tver. This  was organized by ROSIP  – one of the main 3 organizations that deal with birds in Russia at the moment. It was a great success and the biggest gathering of ornithologists of the Russian Federation since the collapse of the former USSR - 420 people. It was the first event when professional ornithologists and amateurs, birdwatchers, photographers were together and the programme was very intensive. Symposia started every day at 8.30 and finished with round table discussions at 23.00 or 23.30.

For plenary lectures, eminent leaders were invited from abroad ant the total number of invited guest-speakers came from 12 countries including Australia, Austria, France, Germany, Japan, UK, USA. The former Republics of the ex-USSR and now independent states were  badly represented, but remote parts of Asian Russia like Kamchatka, Chukotka, Sakhalin Island and Primorie (Ussuriland) were represented quiet well. 

An abstract book was published (in Russian) with 360 abstracts of about 220 oral presentations and 140 poster presentations. The most important round table discussion for IAF was “Large falcons on the brink of extinction: conservation, reproduction in captivity and fight with poaching”, which took place on the first evening in the main hall with about 70 participants. The convener for this was Dr Alexander Sorokin.

Participants and topics included: E.G.Lobkov, A.V.Gorovenko, Yu.N.Gerasimov. "Poaching on Gyrfalcons in Kamchatka: dynamics for 1991-2016"; founder of the private wildlife conservation centre in Kamchatka Andrei Gorovenko; I.R.Enaleev. "Conception of conservation of the Russian populations of the Gyrfalcon".; S.A.Mechnikova, D.A.Kitel, N.V.Kudryavtsev "Artificial nests for the Gyrfalcons in Russia: the first results and their prospects"; constructor of artificial nest-platforms for gyrfalcons in Yamal Peninsula, Svetlana Mechnikova; E.I.Sarychev, I.R.Boehme, A.A.Marchenko "The modern status of the Gyrfalcon population in Central Chukotka in Belaya River basin"; researcher of Gyrfalcon ecology in Chukotka and founder of private breeding center “Vitasfera”, Dr Sarychev, V.N.Alekseev, "A new interpretation of some outdated phrases in verses “Slovo o polku Iroreve” from the point of view of falconry terms" Dr Vladimir Alekseev – researcher of old falconry terms in ancient Russian literature.

After these presentations there was a heated discussion on potential measures how to reduce poaching. One point of view - the main channel for poaching is aviation (there is no railway connection between Primorye and Kamchatka) while another expert considers that  sea transport is the main channel of traffic. All were agreed that the main problem is corruption.

The Executive Secretary of the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) of the Bonn Convention, Dr Sergei Dereliev, did a presentation on how much Russia loses by not signing the Bonn Convention and AEWA Agreement.

IAF Journals and our brochures on electrocution were circulated among the key persons. Jevgeni restored some old links and established many new ones.

IAF School Links Program

The school links programme aims to give students an introduction to falconry and widen their knowledge of worldwide falcon conservation programmes. Established in 2011 as part of the Mongolian artificial nest project, the programme currently links thirty eight schools in nine different countries.

To participate, schools provide the name and email address of someone to co-ordinate and communicate with programme staff and link schools e.g., a senior teacher, class teacher, classroom assistant, parent helper or sixth form student.

This programme is open to schools in all countries and aimed at students aged nine to fourteen. Schools are asked to identify a link class to learn about the programme in depth and write to students in their link school. The link class will need a minimum of two hours teaching time per term to benefit from the project.

Schools select five students to become pen pals. An introduction letter is needed that must be written in English, but  students can use google translate, or similar, to create letters in their pen pal's native language.

The project began in Mongolia and last year 600 Mongolian students visited artificial nests between 20th May and 6th June 2017. Biologists and falconers explained the sustainable use of saker falcons for falconry, and the problem of electrocution of birds of prey on poorly insulated Mongolian powerlines. All students were taught classroom-based lessons on falconry heritage, food chains, the equipment used in falconry, and how to handle birds of prey.

A crucial part of the propect is for local falconers to make schools visits and this year, staff traveled with ‘Boorchi’ the Goshawk. Students were keen to learn more about falconry and its Mongolian heritage. 

IAF is now in contact with falconers in over 90 countries, many of which could also benefit greatly from the educational opportunities the IAF School Links Project has to offer. http://schoollinksprogramme.org/contact-us/ 

IAF and New European General Data Protection Regulation

This is the new set of guidelines that dictate how individuals and companies may acquire, utilize, store, and delete the personal data of European Union (EU) citizens, comes into force in May of this year.

IAF stores the email addresses of its National Delegates and Club Representatives for direct communication and also has a list of email recipients for this eBulletin and the eNewsletter. We are already compliant with the new regulation in the way we use these lists, but we will be contacting everyone to ask them to re-validate their consent.

We have also updated our website security and are now using IT professional services for all our websites.The Mailerlite system we use for these bulletins has issued an explanatory blog to help users to understand the new EU regulations.

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