Shooting of European storks in Lebanon
During their journey from Europe to their winter quarters and back, tens of thousands of white and black storks cross Lebanon each year. For example, ring records from the German bird observatories show that the majority of German white storks take this route.
In contrast to smaller species, storks depend on thermals when migrating and therefore migrate during the day, which makes them easy prey for poachers, especially in the vicinity of roosting areas or when crossing high mountain passes - where birds fly low and within shooting range. Each year we receive reports of "stork massacres", which often occur in the mountains east of the city of Tripoli in the north, as well as from the Bekaa plateau. Much of this information is published by the poachers themselves, who despite all prohibitions regularly post "trophy photos" of themselves and their feathered prey on social media such as Facebook and Instagram. Videos discovered online also reveal that automatic rifles - such as Kalashnikovs - are regularly used by poachers for stork hunting.