The use of poisoned bait is one of the predator-control methods most used in the world and one of the main threats to biodiversity such as vultures and large carnivores.
Anti-poison action Plans and protocols are instrumental in the fight against this threat, and have been successfully used in Spain. Now, as part of a LIFE+ project, SEO/BirdLife has produced a manual in English with draft plans and protocols to establish an effective anti-poisoning campaign
Poison is a real threat to biodiversity, both in Europe and in the rest of the world. Within Europe, poison is used across the continent, but often intensively in the Mediterranean basin. In Spain alone it is estimated that more than 7,000 specimens of endangered species have died from poison in the last decade, including hundreds of black and bearded vultures..
To address this threat to wildlife, many Spanish regions and autonomous governments have developed strategies, action plans and specific protocols to deal with this threat. Further, several years of implementation have resulted in a crucial pool of knowledge and practical experience about what works well and what doesn´t.
In Spain, five autonomies have plans or strategies that have proved effective in the fight against poison, and are considered a benchmark across the continent : Andalusia, Aragon , Castilla y León, Castilla-La Mancha and Valencia. Experience coming from these regions has shown that where there is a legal document underpinning an action plan against the poisoning of wildlife, results do appear.
In the framework of the Life + project VENENO, SEO/BirdLife has now developed draft Action Plans and Protocols, and promoted them across the remaining regions in Spain that still did not have them. As a result, draft new anti-poisoning plans for Asturias, Cantabria, Canary Islands, Catalonia, Balearic Islands, Galicia, La Rioja, and Murcia were developed, all now waiting for official approval.
A generic draft Action Plan has now been translated into English and can be downloaded here. It include issues and approaches on prevention, deterrence and surveillance of illegal uses of poisoned baits, increasing tax effectiveness to combat this threat, controlling the sale of toxic substances susceptible to be used in the preparation of poisoned baits, and improving collaboration and coordination among all actors involved in the fight against poison.
The action plans and protocols are available in English and Castilian here