At the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS COP11), in Quito, Ecuador, countries are taking steps to combat the illegal killing, trapping and trade of birds. Parties are also considering including the Great Bustard in Appendix I of the Convention and are expected to agree on a Global Action Plan for the Saker Falcon.
CMS Executive Secretary Bradnee Chambers highlighted the CMS resolution on illegal killing of birds proposed for adoption at CMS COP11, which underlines that countries need to ensure that adequate national legislation is in place and enforced in compliance with existing bird protection laws. One of the key measures is the creation of an intergovernmental task force to address illegal killing, taking and trade of migratory birds.
CMS and its African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) have already assisted Egypt and Libya in the development of an action plan to stop trapping of migrant songbirds. BirdLife International is currently leading a quantitative assessment of the scale of illegal killing of birds in the Mediterranean. Species proposed for listing under CMS, like the Semipalmated Sandpiper, decreased by almost 80% over the last 30 years, in part due to hunting. Illegal hunting is also the key threat that has driven the Siberian Crane to the brink of extinction along its central flyway connecting the Russian Federation and India.