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CABS & SPNL Lebanon Camp September 2018

In September 2018, the third CABS & SPNL Bird Protection Camp takes place in Lebanon. The focus is on working against illegal bird hunting in the Lebanese Mountains east of Beirut - one of the most intensive hotspot areas for poaching birds of prey whilst attempting to migrate from Europe to East Africa. With daily field investigations, talking to hunters and pushing the police to take action, we want to help curb the relentless killing.

Here we publish videos of the deployment in September 2018:

The sad fate of swallows in Lebanon (03.10.2018)

The sad fate of swallows in Lebanon: Each autumn, swallows from across Europe head south to winter in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent. Migration is extremely hazardous, many die from starvation and exhaustion. Unfortunately, in Lebanon, shooting migratory swallows, swifts and bee-eaters is commonplace, with millions being killed each year. Everywhere we see people luring birds with electronic callers and emptying the skies for ‘fun’. Together with our partners from the Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon and the Middle Eastern Sustainable Hunting Centre (MESHC) our video shows the terrible extent of this massacre, as Geraldine Attard our CABS member from France reflects on the situation.

Honey Buzzard "Caludine" is back on the wing - CABS & SPNL video 2018 (14.09.2018)

Honey Buzzard "Claudine" is back on the wing: During the last week we have found numerous shot birds of prey in the Mountains of Lebanon. More than a dozen birds were handed to care specialists but only one was fit enough to be set free to continue migration - luckily it was only slightly injured and could be taken care of quickly. We named the bird "Claudine" after the daughter of the Lebanese President, Claudine Aoun Roukoz, who strongly supports our actions for better migratory bird protection. "Claudine" was released in a quiet area of ​​the Cedar State and is now - hopefully - well on her way to Africa. Have a good flight!

Blow against birdtrapping in Baalbek/Lebanon - CABS & SPNL video (21.09.2018)

Joint operation against songbird trapping in North Bekaa, Lebanon. On Wednesday, a CABS team together with members of the Middle Eastern Sustainable Hunting Centre (MESHC) and SPNL conducted field investigations around the city of Baalbek, Northern Lebanon. The action was in response to recent intelligence received regarding industrial-scale trapping in the area to target and kill songbirds for illegal sale on the black market. Together with the Lebanese Internal Security Forces 17 mist nets with a total length of more than 300 metres were confiscated. Several Masked Shrikes and a Levant Sparrowhawk trapped in the nets were released unharmed. The operation was the first of its kind in the area close to the Syrian border.

Poachers arrested in Lebanon - CABS & SPNL video (18.09.2018)

Yesterday saw a significant success in the current anti-poaching operation being conducted by CABS, the Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon and the Middle-East Sustainable Hunting Centre (MESHC) in Lebanon. The team deployed near the village of Raachine (Keserwan), in an area known as a poaching 'hotspot' and observed two individuals killing protected Honey Buzzards and Levant Sparrowhawks. Following a pursuit after the poachers attempted to flee the scene, the Lebanese Internal Security Forces responded very promptly to the team's call and arrested the two men. Two guns were seized guns, along with ammunition. 3 freshly shot Levant Sparrowhawks and 2 Honey Buzzards were also recovered as evidence.

"They belong in the Sky" (15.09.2018)

WATCH: ‘They belong in the Sky’ - Another day, another Honey Buzzard severely wounded and suffering in Lebanon. As part of the ongoing joint campaign between CABS, SPNL and the Middle Eastern Sustainable Hunting Centre (MESHC), we have recovered another injured Honey Buzzard high in the Mountains in Raachine, Keserwan after it was picked up by local Bedouins. It’s likely that the bird was using the mountain thermals to gain height on its difficult migration to Africa before being blasted from the sky and left for dead – unfortunately we could do little for this bird. Another bird was picked up in Agbhe and successfully transferred to a local rescue centre, where it is hoped the bird can recover. Poaching in Lebanon is a major threat to the species which numbers have decreased by 25% in 35 years (currently estimated at max: 400,000 mature individuals in its global range - IUCN). Thousands of them are being killed in these bottleneck areas each day during peak migration.

The Honey Buzzard killing fields in Lebanon - new CABS & SPNL video 2018 (13.09.2018)

WATCH – CABS is back in the bird killing fields of the Middle East. Just four days in to the current Bird Protection Camp in Lebanon and our teams are overwhelmed by the ongoing bloodbath we are currently witnessing. Each day, our teams observe large flocks of raptors migrating through the main bottleneck areas and with each day we find hundreds of dead or severely injured birds. The vast majority of casualties appear to be simply shot for no more than mere target practice. Some birds we find are butchered with their breast meat removed for consumption – the remains are discarded and left to rot. There is little value for life, nature or the environment. The following video gives just a brief overview of the impact we have witnessed so far on Honey Buzzard migration in the Mount Lebanon area close to Beirut.