“Bird watching instead of bird poaching” in the Hutovo Blato Nature Park

“Bird watching instead of bird poaching” in the Hutovo Blato Nature Park

26 January 2012
Bosnia and Herzegovina

The European Nature Heritage Fund – EuroNatur supports a 2-year project in Hutovo Blato Nature Park, Bosnia and Herzegovina, a site on the Ramsar List.

The Ramsar Secretariat is pleased to report that EuroNatur, a non-profit foundation for the conservation of European nature heritage has set up a project with the managers of Hutovo Blato Nature Park to stop bird poaching on the site. The park managers had already submitted this project to Ramsar’s Small Grants Fund in 2009, but despite the project’s obvious value, there were no funds to implement it at that time.

The park, situated along the Adriatic Flyway, has been severely impacted by bird poaching in past years. While the situation has recently improved due to media coverage and local watching patrols, it is now essential to achieve sustainability and maintain the park’s long-term biodiversity.

Contract signing of the planned project "Bird watching instead of bird poaching" by Park Director Nikola Zovko and Martin Schneider-Jacoby, EuroNatur. © EuroNatur

The plan is to focus on developing the bird watching activity in the Ramsar Site to generate funds for the park but also for local people, which should be a positive alternative to poaching. This will include identification bird watching routes, the publication of a guide with maps, and trails building.  Park rangers and local people will be trained in bird watching and leaflets and posters will be published to support an information campaign by local media.

Bird watching instead of bird poaching in Nature Park Hutovo Blato/Svitava-See © Martin Schneider-Jacoby/ EuroNatur

Hutovo-Blato Nature Park is located in the Bosnian part of a transboundary wetland ecosystem. Together with the Croatian Ramsar Site Neretva-Delta, the sites could be designated as a Transboundary Ramsar Site, allowing for future cross-border cooperation in the management of these sites.

A report by Kati Wenzel, Assistant Advisor for Europe