Together with our colleagues from Ornithological Society, Naše ptice, we organised a meeting with representatives from several relevant governmental institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The National meeting which was organised on the Thursday 31 May aimed to ensuring governmental engagement in dealing with problems of wildlife poisoning on both state and local level in the country by establishing a National Anti-Poisoning Working Group (NAWG). This group will essential to the development of a National Anti-Poison Roadmap. Positive feedback was received from governmental institutions, especially in legally formalising the NAWG. During the meeting we were able to identify the major gaps in existing legislation and define future steps that we have to take in order to develop this strategic document, which will set a baseline for future conservation work relevant to vultures.
Bosnia and Herzegovina generally has good legislation in place and wildlife poisoning is clearly defined in all state, entity and regional laws. However, official and documented data relevant to wildlife poisoning is almost completely lacking and a centralised database for poisoning incidents does not exist. Therefore, it is not generally perceived as a significant threat for wildlife and duties and responsibilities are not clear the majority of relevant institutions. The good thing is that the Veterinary and Environmental Inspectorate has clear protocols in sampling and reporting suspected poisoning incidents and available state funds for conducting toxicological analysis of animals.
Further efforts have to be invested in collecting official data from relevant institutions, as well as data from field in order to determine the scope and severity of wildlife poisoning so far and to assess the potential that this threat might represent for vultures in the future. Also, the development of a scheme which will describe in detail the duties and responsibilities of governmental institutions in reporting and processing poisoning cases would prove very useful to all interested parties, especially to NGOs and general public. Furthermore, a strong public awareness and educational campaign is needed in order to motivate general public to report all cases which involve dead animals to the proper authorities. With this in place, we believe that we can establish a solid foundation for all future work relevant to wildlife poisoning and vulture conservation.
Poisoning has been recognised as the single most important threat that vulture populations are facing worldwide within the Vulture MsAP, a crucial strategic document for conservation of Old World vultures, approved by the Convention for Migratory Species (CMS) last year. The BAPP, a vital component of the Mediterranean Anti-Poisoning Project (MAPP), funded by the Mava Foundation and spearheaded by VCF, directly contributes to implementation of the MsAP in the region.
The Balkan Anti-Poison Project
The Balkan Anti-Poison Project is an integral part of the Mediterranean Anti-poison project funded by the Mava Foundation and coordinated by VCF, and aims to to develop national anti-poison road maps in five countries (Greece, Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina & Croatia).