Hunting ban on four more waterfowl species

gatunki ptaków wodnych

Life for hunters 60 years ago was simpler. The coots were legally hunted all year round. Likewise for gray herons in the area of closed waters, because in open waters only from July 1 to March 31. Wild geese were shot legally from August 11 to May 20, with no question of whether one was shooting at a goose or a goose. And even more so what species. Wild ducks (females) were caught from August 21 to November 30, and bucks from April 1 to May 20, then from August 21 to November 30. One could legally hunt grouse and black grouse roosters (from April 1 to May 20) and even ruffed grouse (though only from May 1 to 31) [2].

It was even easier for hunters and harder for birders before the war. Fishing at the time included. Wild swans (from May 15 to July 31), anchovies, white-tailed eagles, ospreys and kites (from February 1 to August 15). Boats were fished longer – from June 1 to July 10. For that, the period of legal duck shooting was shorter. This is because it overlapped with the time of the battalion hunt: from June 1 to July 10 [1]. Now four waterfowl species are safe, let’s take a look at which ones.

Why is bird hunting passe?

Shortly after the election, newly appointed Chief Nature Conservator Nikolai Dorozhala recognized the validity of the arguments of the Let Them Live! coalition against further bird hunting:

  • Legal shooting of game birds does not fulfill the statutory goals of hunting, which are to preserve the diversity and management of game populations and to protect and shape the natural environment for the improvement of game habitat;
  • Game species in Poland do not threaten biodiversity or the biological balance;
  • Game species do not harm rational fisheries, agriculture and forestry;
  • Even legal hunting of avifauna violates the Birds and Habitats Directives and the Ramsar, Bern and Bonn Conventions;
  • Hunting plans did not show the abundance of 10 of the 13 game species;
  • A number of strictly or partially protected species, including very rare species, are mistakenly killed in Poland, e.g.: the helmeted and bitterling instead of the loggerhead, the gyran instead of the teal;
  • Sharps swallowed as gastroliths (pebbles for grinding food) poison birds. First the finer ones, and then the raptors that feed on them, with the white-tailed eagle, which is cresting for Poland, in the lead [3, 4, 5].
waterbird species
pic. Diliff, CC BY-SA 3.0/Wikipedia

Four more waterfowl species safe – at least on paper

The latest moratorium by Nature Conservator-in-Chief Nikolai Dorozhala imposes a year-round ban on hunting four aquatic and marsh species: coot, gannet, loggerhead and tufted duck. There will be a regulation to remove four species of birds from the list of game species. We will want to protect the garganey, the loggerhead, the tufted duck and the coot in a systematic way. As for the red-footed teal, we have nearly 25,000 planned for shooting, in the case of the loggerhead it is 16,000, the tufted coot – more than 15,000, and the coot – more than 20,000. – Deputy Minister Dorozha announced. For the time being, they have been covered by a moratorium by the Minister of Economic Affairs. climate and environment [10].

waterbird species
pic. Jacek Halicki, CC BY-SA 4.0/Wikipedia

Five-year pardon

The selected four were lucky, as it is the fifth anniversary of the publication of Wylegala and Lavitsky’s text, “The story of the world. The capercaillie, the tufted duck, the little gannet, the coot – the state of the population in Poland and the impact of hunting management. Opinion for the IUCN Polish National Committee justifies the introduction of a moratorium and then the eventual transfer from the list of game species to the list of protected species. The probability of extinction varies greatly for each species of the four just pardoned.

While garganeys nested in our country with only 1300-1700 pairs (in 2013-18), loggerheads with 2-6 thousand pairs, while coots at the same time nested with 30-60 thousand pairs. Coots have increased by as much as 61 percent in the scale of Poland, while cyranids have been steadily declining. The loggerhead shoal is dying out even faster, losing between 1980 and 2018 some 80, perhaps even 90 percent of our country’s population [3, 4, 5].

waterbird species
pic. Dion Art, CC BY-SA 4.0/Wikipedia

Not just hunting

Even the biggest opponents of hunting admit that legal harvesting is just one of many nails in the coffin of the aforementioned species. All are equally threatened by habitat loss, deterioration of the food base, predator pressure, and, finally, changes in carp pond management. Both withholding management, leading to overgrowth of ponds, and increasing intensification of stocking rates, intensifying competition for feed, are detrimental.

The disappearance of colonies of their allies – black-headed gulls – is also contributing strongly to the decline of the black-headed gull colony, due to the pressure of blackflies (excess blackflies are a result of climate change and the invasion of foreign germplasm), better vaccines for foxes, increasing numbers of wizards and raccoons, and the culling of gulls as pests. Hunting ducks prefer to nest near a colony of laughing ducks because the species warn each other and defend themselves against predators, a bit like giraffes, zebras and antelopes on the savannah. The disappearance of the chinchilla paradoxically saved its cousin, but also its rival, the subadult [3], from extinction in Poland (at least for several decades).

Law by law and life by life

There is a public consensus on banning the hunting of endangered and rare birds. It is supported by 94 percent. Asked by Kantar Poland in a survey conducted for the Let Them Live! coalition. On the other hand, according to1/3 of citizens, we have too many of certain species, especially the cormorant and the heron. If the British can shoot goldeneyes in the majesty of the law, and Icelanders can shoot mascons, why should we be worse? In Poland, of the protected species, the following are most often killed during legal hunting of aquatic and marsh ornithofauna: great crested grebes, mute swans, gannets, white-headed gulls and blackheads. Many real and imaginary fishing pests are also shot: from herons and bitterns, to harriers and terns, to doubloons.

Let us remind you right away that the RDEP may issue a permit for the reduction shooting of cormorants and gray herons under partial species protection, but such permits are subject to a number of conditions. Absolutely do not authorize leaving injured birds or killing white or purple herons! Gray herons are sometimes the bane not only of fishermen, but also of drivers and woodcutters, and in 2011. threatened to kill the toño penguins at the Tri-City Zoo. Even then, they deserve hounding rather than death. And if to death, then more humane than in Silesia [12].

waterbird species
pic. USFWS Mountain-Prairie, CC BY 2.0/Wikipedia

Something ends, something begins

Hunters argue that their hobby develops a number of skills that, again, will be extremely useful in our part of the world: eye-hand coordination, orientation in unfamiliar and desolate terrain (including after dark), noiseless stepping and wading in water, insensitivity to blood, cold and moisture. We have good news for them as well! There are an increasing number of non-European species, eradicated by law throughout the Community, that not only can be hunted, but should even be hunted. Among the tinfoil warblers increasingly observed in Poland are. Egyptian casefish (goosefish) and Jamaican rudderfish. The Egyptian Kazarka is known for its aggressive territorialism.

It chases away both other blackthroats and raptors (buzzards, hawks) and passerines (blackbirds, starlings, sparrows) living at an angle in the nests of larger birds. Even the white stork is sometimes helpless against this Egyptian goose. Goosebumps almost always give infertile hybrids with a number of gannets (mallards), kazaras (including ohar) and barnacles (whitetails). It spreads two strains of bird flu, paramyxovirus and salmonella.

The Jamaican rudderfish, on the other hand, threatens the nature of the Old Continent by:

  • Interbreeding with the native common rudderfish;
  • The spread of the avian influenza virus (H5N1 strain);
  • competition with native species, especially grebes and eiders.

As early as 2016, the Berne Convention Standing Committee in its Recommendation 185 (2016) ordered the extermination of the Jamaican rudderfish from the entire Western Palearctic by 2020. Paradoxically, these rudders in their homeland, the Western Hemisphere, have been counted in total fewer than coots – 25-200 thousand. specimens of the subspecies/species ferruginea, 10 thousand. andina subspecies against 8-10 million of the latter [6, 7].

In the article, I used, among other things. From the works:

  1. Decree of the President of the Republic dated December 3, 1927. On hunting law.
  2. Ordinance of the Minister of Forestry and Wood Industry dated May 14, 1965. On hunting periods for game animals.
  3. Chodkiewicz T., Chylarecki P., Sikora A., Wardecki Ł., Bobrek R., Neubauer G., Marchowski D., Dmoch A., Kuczyński L. 2019 Report on the implementation of Article 12 of the Birds Directive in Poland in 2013-2018: status, changes, threats. Bulletin of Nature Monitoring 20: 1-80.
  4. Wolf T., Chodkiewicz T., Sikora A., Chylarecki P., Kuczynski L. 2020. Red list of birds of Poland. OTOP, Brands.
  5. Wylegała P., Ławicki Ł. 2019. The capercaillie, the tufted duck, the little gannet, the coot – the state of the population in Poland and the impact of hunting management. Opinion for the IUCN Polish National Committee. Poznan: PTOP Salamandra, 2019.
  6. Species Information Sheet – Jamaican rudderfish. 2018. [w:] Analysis of the degree of invasiveness of alien species in Poland, together with the identification of species significantly threatening native flora and fauna and a proposal of strategic actions for the possibility of their eradication, and Analysis of pathways for the unintentional introduction or spread of invasive alien species, together with the development of action plans for priority pathways. Silesian University in Katowice.
  7. K. Mazurska, W. Solarz, H. Okarma: Species Information Sheet – Egyptian gooseberry. 2018. [w:] Analysis of the degree of invasiveness of alien species in Poland with the identification of species significantly threatening the native flora and fauna and a proposal of strategic actions for the possibility of their eradication and Analysis of pathways of unintentional introduction or spread of invasive alien species with the development of action plans for priority pathways [on-line]. Silesian University in Katowice.
  8. [3 .04.2024]
  9. [3 .04.2024]
  10.,16418.html [3 .04.2024]
  11. [3 .04.2024]
  12.,88025,26826570,mysliwy-polowal-na-czaple-zostawil-ciezko-ranne-cierpiace.html [3 .04.2024]

Używamy plików cookie, aby zapewnić najlepszą jakość korzystania z Internetu. Zgadzając się, zgadzasz się na użycie plików cookie zgodnie z naszą polityką plików cookie.

Close Popup
Privacy Settings saved!
Ustawienie prywatności

Kiedy odwiedzasz dowolną witrynę internetową, może ona przechowywać lub pobierać informacje w Twojej przeglądarce, głównie w formie plików cookie. Tutaj możesz kontrolować swoje osobiste usługi cookie.

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

Technical Cookies
In order to use this website we use the following technically required cookies
  • wordpress_test_cookie
  • wordpress_logged_in_
  • wordpress_sec

For perfomance reasons we use Cloudflare as a CDN network. This saves a cookie "__cfduid" to apply security settings on a per-client basis. This cookie is strictly necessary for Cloudflare's security features and cannot be turned off.
  • __cfduid