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Assessing the scale of hunting of birds based on the available data and reports across Georgia with a focus on Batumi Bottleneck

Illegal killing is one of the main risks for the birds becoming extinct globally.

Poaching birds became one of the major threats for bird migrating between Europe and Africa. Every autumn more than 1,000,000+ birds of prey migrate through the Batumi Bottleneck. Batumi Raptor Count (BRC) along with SABUKO work on monitoring and conserve birds which migrate through the Batumi Bottleneck.

Raptor populations are particularly sensitive to any changes. Shooting is still a major concern. Raptor populations are in general rather small and in combination with a low reproductive rate makes illegal killing one of the most dangerous threats. The Eastern Black Sea migration route is one of the major routes on the Black Sea/ Mediterranean flyway.

At least 35 different species of raptors have been observed migrating through the region. Migratory raptors are persecuted by hunters and falconers at the bottleneck. Falconry is a deeply rooted tradition in the rural communities and has a long history. Although, shooting migratory raptors is a more recent activity and it seems to be caused by multiple socioeconomical and governance issues.

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