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The First AEWA Red-breasted Goose IWG meeting took place in Kavarna

The town of Kavarna was chosen to hot the first AEWA Red-breasted Goose International Working Group. The International Working Group includes representatives of state authorities of the five key countries for the species – Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria and experts and conservationists from those countries. The IWG delegates elected for Chair of the group Dr. Volodymyr Domashlinets from the Ministry of Environment of Ukraine.

The work of the IWG is supported by international conservation and experts organizations including BirdLife International, FACE (European hunters’ federation), Wetlands International and others. In addition new observers were accepted by the IWG - the US Fish & Wildlfie Service and Royal Belgium Institute on Natural Sciences, which we hope will contribute to further the implementation of the Species Action Plan.

Main focus of the work of the IWG is the implementation of the Species Action Plan therefore priority actions were discussed. The participants updated each other on the ongoing conservation and research activities in the range countries. Key knowledge on the migration stop-over sites and threats at those sites were presented resulting from active remote tracking work. What comes out of the discussion is that the issue with poaching and the associated with the hunting disturbance is a common problem across the range. However Bulgaria is the only country that does not have any regulation of the hunting in the key sites for the species and the lack of buffer non-hunting zone is kind of “endemic” to Bulgaria. The IWG stressed on the need of establishing hunting free zones which will allow the Red-breasted Goose to have secure resting and refueling stations along the migratory route.

The countries reconfirmed commitment to common monitoring actions and will be looking into options to set new common projects to increase cooperation between countries. One of the major points on which the delegates stressed upon was the need of implementing a Strategic Impact Assessment for any development in the key areas of the species as a preventive measure. The need of better site protection enforcement and development and implementation of management plans for key sites was considered crucial by the IWG particpants.

On the last day of the Meeting the participants visited the key site for the species in Bulgaria Durankulak Lake SPA where they watched the morning take off of the last wintering geese flocks, which still hang in the area while the major part of the flocks have left for Romania and Ukraine enrote to breeding grounds.

The First IWG meeting was organised by the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds, which is hosting the coordination of the IWG and the meeting was supported by the Life+ Project "Safe Ground for Redbreasts" which made possible to have representatives of all key range states

 

RbG IWG meeting in Kavarna
Discussions during Meeting brakes