Another alarming cases of poisoning in Slovakia


The representatives of Raptor Protection of Slovakia (RPS) were shocked by discovering two dead Imperial Eagles near the villages of Nižná and Veľké Kostoľany in Western Slovakia within five days in the middle of February 2011. Two dead Common Buzzards were found on the site as well. Eagles were adults in a perfect condition, both ringed in Slovakia, one four years ago in Western Slovakia and the other eight years ago in Eastern Slovakia. The expert analysis has confirmed carbofuran as the cause of death of both eagles. No poisoned baits were found in the area. It is likely that a small sized baits were used.

Nizna 2

The area of finding is just in the neighbourhood of a site where the massacre with 22 carbofuran victims was recorded in 2009, including 4 Saker Falcons. Population of Saker Falcon and Imperial Eagle is not more than 40 nesting pairs each in the whole country. The latest case is being intensively investigated by the police. In 2009 and 2010 RPS has implemented a project focusing on bird crime issue. Materials prepared within the project and cooperation developed during the implementation are being very helpful during the investigation. Thanks to the massive medial campaign several valuable information concerning the cases has been received and considered by police.

The use of carbofuran, as a highly toxic pesticide, is prohibited in the whole area of European Union. Even though it is still often used for illegal activities such as placing poisoned baits, mostly in lowlands.

Velke Kostolany

The most alarming fact is that the discovered cases are only a tip of the iceberg, representing small percentage of the total number of all illegal activities. Often the offender regularly returns to the crime scene to remove the dead bodies of poisoned victims or to bury them deep in the ground. In Slovakia bird crime is a serious problem. It is not only poisoning, making victims among the species feeding cadavers. Every year tens of birds are being killed or injured by shooting or use of different trapping methods. Nest robberies represent serious threat as well. It is very important to take measures for elimination of illegal activities on birds. Otherwise we may be witness of extinction of several endangered species not only in the territory of Slovakia, but also in other countries.

The Ministry of environment of Slovak republic is also aware of the seriousness of the situation. A common meeting of representatives of all competent authorities and NGOs was organized in the middle of March 2011. The meeting adopted a number of conclusions and decisions that will contribute to solve the problem in the long term. However this is just the beginning of a fight against the cruelty of those whose hate and irrational accuse of birds of prey of decreasing population of game species leads to killing. It is necessary that this process involves more people and organisation, not only to detect and punish offenders, but also to prevent these activities in the future.

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