World Migratory Bird Day: “Hunters” vs. “Conservationists”

DSC 016510th of May is the World Migratory Bird Day! For many years, Armenian Society for the Protection of Birds joins the world to celebrate this day by organizing various events in Armenia. As many of our BirdLife International partners in this year, we also dedicated this day to the topic of Illegal Killing, Taking and Trade.

According to IUCN, “Illegal killing” (“poaching”) is a type of “illegal hunting”. This illegal phenomenon occurs throughout the world, including Armenia.

DSC 0151Our team made a decision to reflect this topic through educational approach. On May 10, ASPB organized a comprehensive lecture in Nature Visitor Center in Dsegh Village, covering the topic of “Illegal Killing, Taking and Trade”.

Students were introduced to fundamental description of current issue as a strong barrier for migratory birds, as well as we made a joint discussion about the alternative income sources for hunters, which could consequently decrease and, hopefully, eliminate illegal killing of birds both in Armenia and all over the world.

DSC 0171А role play of schoolchildren appeared to be the most inspirational part of the event. They were voluntarily divided into two groups - “Hunters” and “Conservationists”. Each group aimed to defend its position regarding the Illegal Killing, Taking and Trade issue.

Our new generation surprised us with a wide scope of knowledge and perfect skills for holding an analytical discussion.

“Hunters” were trying to justify their position, stating that hunting is the only income source for many rural residents and they violate the law out of a lack of income alternatives.

“Conservationists”, in their turn, were protecting their attitude towards this phenomenon, quoting various legal instruments and articles. They highlighted that illegal killing neglects not only the nature well-being, but also many laws and regulations, which is already unacceptable approach.

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DSC 0180This hot debate culminated in both parties finding the triumphal synthesis of views and finding the common ground. All participants agreed with the idea, that Illegal Killing, Taking and Trade are negative phenomenon, and they should be strictly and undoubtedly prevented. And in regard to the ideas of protecting the harvest from birds or using hunting as income source, all this could be replaced with a variety of alternative methods and techniques used worldwide.

Summing up the results of this event, we can bravely state, that in several years, from the perspective of environmental protection, we will have an educated and powerful generation, which will be confident enough to protect the natural heritage of its motherland from various illegal encroachments.

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