The new hunting season begins with old violations

© Nikolai Petkov

Unfortunately, this year with the arrival of the Red-breasted and White-fronted Geese were found the first violations of hunting and conservation legislation. November 1 (Saturday) a team of LIFE + project "Safe Ground for Redbreasts" have found these violations in the Durankulak Lake SPA: hunting in the forbidden zone, shooting at the dark part of the day and using a boat in Durankulak Lake.

Annually many violations of hunting and environmental standards are registered in the area of the two Natura 2000 sites. In 2012, within the protected area "Durankulashko Lake" was killed Great Bustard (Otis tarda). The perpetrator wasn’t found. Every year in the project area injured Red-breasted geese are registered. In 2012 Red-breasted goose was shot in front of a member of the project team. Many of the Red-breasted geese in the area wear gunfire marks on their pen-feathers - missing or broken feathers are an often sight. 

In order to minimize the violations of hunting and conservation legislation in the special protected areas "Shabla Lake Complex" and "Durankulak Lake", which are essential for the wintering population of the endangered Red-breasted Goose, during the previous hunting season joint patrols were acting in the area. They included representatives of the Regional Inspectorate of the Environment and Water – Varna, Regional Forestry Directorate – Varna, State Hunting Estate – Balchik, Hunting and Angling association – Shabla, BSPB and the Shabla police department. From December 2013 to January 2014 the joint patrols made 17 inspections. Most of the identified violations included hunting near the borders of the protected area and at the dark part of the day. Thanks to the annual efforts of the project team and our partners the violations have significantly decreased, but the attempts to illegal hunting and violation of the law continue.

This winter due to the early spell of cold weather and the presence of geese the patrol scheme will start earlier. The problem will be solved if the state institutions take more stringent penalties on violators and enhance the control. Bulgaria has significant responsibility for the conservation of this species in the European Union, as in separate periods of the year up to 95% of the world population of the species is concentrated in the country.


© Nikolai Petkov
© Nikolai Petkov
© R. Moldovanski