Albaner töden ihr National Symbol: die Adler – Albania losing its eagle

Posted on Januar 13, 2018 von


Binos Alarm: Albaner sind verschwindet der Adler in den Alpen

Nach 20 Jahren riskiert Albanien, nicht das Land der Adler genannt zu werden, wie es beim Angriff der Albaner selbst der Fall ist.

Von den 200 Adlerpaaren gibt es heute weniger als 100. Bergbewohner, in denen Adler Nester haben, töten oder fangen sie lebend ein und verkaufen sie dann einbalsamiert, um die Räumlichkeiten zu verschönern.
Aber wie können die Adler verschwinden?

Albania losing its eagle

A man offers for sale a wounded common buzzard (buteo buteo). Photo: AFPGENT SHKULLAKU

It is Albania’s national symbol, but the eagle may soon only be found on the flag. The majestic bird is threatened with extinction due to widespread poaching of raptors.

On the side of a national motorway, just 30 kilometres north of the capital Tirana, a vendor offers motorists a common buzzard for an average price of 7,000-10,000 leks (55-85 euros, $65-100).

The buzzard is a protected species just like the golden eagle.

But the man isn’t concerned as he exhibits the bird with its wing wounded by a bullet and its talons tied.

„I didn’t wound it. I was given it to sell. The buyers will keep it in a cage in a bar or a restaurant,“ he says.

Whether the customers want to stuff them or to keep them in captivity, they can find these birds for sale on the street.

Of the four species of vultures that used to exist in Albania, „only one, the Egyptian vulture, remains and its population has been extremely reduced,“ says Mirjan Topi, author of Albania’s first bird guide.

So too the dwindling number of golden eagles, a two-headed specimen of which features on the flag of this mountainous Balkan country.

According to experts, some 25 years ago there were between 100 and 200 couples of golden eagles. That number today has been cut in half, „a dramatic decline“, says Topi.

On the road to extinction

For biologist Taulant Bino, president of the Albanian Ornithological Society, the golden eagle „is on the road to extinction“.

„Fifty years ago or even in the early 1990s, we could see it on every summit,“ he says.

On a global scale, the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) is not classified as a threatened species, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

But in Albania nowadays the place where you are most likely to see a golden eagle is „stuffed in bars, restaurants or hotels“, Topi says.

The idea is „to decorate the interior to attract customers, at the price of a sickening spectacle, in violation of the law, and in defiance of the state and institutions“, the bird specialist laments.

Poisoned carcasses

There has been a hunting ban in Albania since 2014. Authorities say it has curtailed a large number of the 2,000-3,000 Italian hunters who are estimated to have killed more than 150,000 birds, including hundreds of raptors over the last decade.

But they admitted, when contacted by AFP, that the ban’s effectiveness is limited as it only imposes fines.

According to Ermal Halimi, a specialist on the issue at the ministry of tourism and environment, there are plans to toughen the law, including „prison terms for all offences that contribute to the disappearance of protected animals“. AFP

There has been a hunting ban in Albania since 2014. But the ban’s effectiveness is limited as it only imposes fines.

Posted in: Albania