LIFE Project Cover Photo

Innovative actions against illegal poisoning in EU Mediterranean pilot areas.

Reference: LIFE09 NAT/ES/000533 | Acronym: Innovation against poison

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

BACKGROUND

The use of poisoned baits is forbidden under Annex VI of the Habitats Directive. However, their use is deeply rooted in many European rural areas, where predation by feral dogs and cats can impact economic activities. Hunters, livestock owners and shepherds, for instance, have used poison baits to kill predators to minimise the loss of hunting species, cattle or sheep because of predation. This practice presents a threat to EU biodiversity, and there is a distinct lack of public awareness about the impact of such illegal poisoning and a shortage of data. Poison baiting varies greatly from country to country, but it is considered to be more common in Mediterranean countries. Illegal poisoning greatly affects raptors and carnivores, especially scavengers.


OBJECTIVES

The overall aim of the Innovation against poison project was to implement, monitor, assess and spread innovative and demonstrative actions that significantly improve current strategies for combating illegal poisoning in the EU. The project selected pilot areas in Mediterranean areas with a medium-high rural population density and an economic reliance on rural activities, where both highly-endangered species and well-established local biodiversity conservation organisations with experience in fighting illegal poisoning were present; as detecting the presence of poison baits requires specialised work and knowledge (e.g. chemical analysis, canine teams, procedures for carcass removal). The project aimed to involve local groups (e.g. stockbreeders and hunters) in the fight against poisoned bait; promote legal sanctions (e.g. closure of certain hunting areas); and change social attitudes towards problems related to poisoned baits, such as the threat to public health and pets. Regarding the lack of awareness about the real impacts of poisoning, the project foresaw the development of a set of dissemination and training activities.


RESULTS

The Innovation against poison project sought to develop an innovative “participatory approach” to transform the main stakeholders (e.g. hunters, stockbreeders, and municipalities) into active elements in the fight against the use of poison. To this end, the project foresaw the creation of ad hoc volunteer networks. The project selected eight pilot areas in three different member states (Spain, Portugal and Greece) to demonstrate this approach. The idea was to compare the results obtained, to draw general conclusions so that the initiative could be easily replicated in other areas. To this end, a comprehensive monitoring system was designed.

The project directly involved 376 stakeholders in the fight against poisoning (119 hunters, 202 stockbreeders, and 55 municipalities). It demonstrated the potential of inspections by dog patrols in Portugal and Greece, by showing what they could achieve. It made a significant contribution to the creation of a National Working Group against poison in Greece, and helped raise awareness and created technical capacity in the eight pilot areas. The project contributed by putting the problem of illegal poisoning in the media and on political agendas.

However, the implementation of this project was hampered by several problems. These included: a lack of suitable coordination given the structural complexity needed; continuous changes in project staff; some methodological flaws in the project design; lack of an appropriate monitoring system; and major financial constraints. Therefore, the project did not achieve the full objective of demonstrating the implementation, monitoring, and assessment of innovative actions and tools to significantly improve current strategies against illegal poisoning in the EU. The lack of a demonstrative participatory approach meant the project missed its main innovative value, and limits the demonstrative potential of the project.

There are some plans for the maintenance of the networks created in Spain and Greece, but not in Portugal. The experience is replicable to other areas and transferable to other contexts, but the lessons learnt during the implementation of this LIFE project should be taken on board.

Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report and After-LIFE Communication Plan (see "Read more" section).

The Innovation against poison project sought to develop an innovative “participatory approach” to transform the main stakeholders (e.g. hunters, stockbreeders, and municipalities) into active elements in the fight against the use of poison. To this end, the project foresaw the creation of ad hoc volunteer networks. The project selected eight pilot areas in three different member states (Spain, Portugal and Greece) to demonstrate this approach. The idea was to compare the results obtained, to draw general conclusions so that the initiative could be easily replicated in other areas. To this end, a comprehensive monitoring system was designed.

The project directly involved 376 stakeholders in the fight against poisoning (119 hunters, 202 stockbreeders, and 55 municipalities). It demonstrated the potential of inspections by dog patrols in Portugal and Greece, by showing what they could achieve. It made a significant contribution to the creation of a National Working Group against poison in Greece, and helped raise awareness and created technical capacity in the eight pilot areas. The project contributed by putting the problem of illegal poisoning in the media and on political agendas.

However, the implementation of this project was hampered by several problems. These included: a lack of suitable coordination given the structural complexity needed; continuous changes in project staff; some methodological flaws in the project design; lack of an appropriate monitoring system; and major financial constraints. Therefore, the project did not achieve the full objective of demonstrating the implementation, monitoring, and assessment of innovative actions and tools to significantly improve current strategies against illegal poisoning in the EU. The lack of a demonstrative participatory approach meant the project missed its main innovative value, and limits the demonstrative potential of the project.

There are some plans for the maintenance of the networks created in Spain and Greece, but not in Portugal. The experience is replicable to other areas and transferable to other contexts, but the lessons learnt during the implementation of this LIFE project should be taken on board.

Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report and After-LIFE Communication Plan (see "Read more" section).

ADMINISTRATIVE DATA


Reference: LIFE09 NAT/ES/000533
Acronym: Innovation against poison
Start Date: 01/10/2010
End Date: 30/09/2015
Total Budget: 5,660,886 €
EU Contribution: 2,730,790 €
Project Location:

CONTACT DETAILS


Coordinating Beneficiary: Fundacin Gypaetus
Legal Status: PNC
Address: Plaza de Santa Maria s/n15, 23470, Cazorla, España
Contact Person: Anabel García
Email: fundacion@gypaetus.org
Tel: +34 953 220062
Website:


LIFE Project Map

ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ADDRESSED

THEMES

  • Birds

KEYWORDS

  • endangered species

TARGET EU LEGISLATION

  • Directive 92/43 - Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora- Habitats Directive (21.05.1992)
  • Directive 79/409 - Conservation of wild birds (02.04.1979)
  • COM(2011) 244 final “Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020” (03.05.2011)
  • Directive 2009/147 - Conservation of wild birds - Birds Directive (codified version of Directive 79/409/EEC as amended) (30.11.2009)

TARGET HABITAT TYPES

  • 0 - Non applicable (i.e.species project)

SPECIES

  • Gypaetus barbatus
  • Aegypius monachus
  • Neophron percnopterus
  • Aquila adalberti
  • Hieraaetus fasciatus
  • Canis lupus
  • Ursus arctos
  • Lynx pardinus

NATURA 2000 SITES

Type Code Name
SPA GR1440005 ANTICHASIA ORI KAI METEORA
SPA PTZPE0042 Tejo Internacional, Erges e Pônsul
SPA PTZPE0045 Mourão/Moura/Barrancos
SPA ES0000031 SIERRA DE GRAZALEMA
SPA ES0000050 SIERRA DE HORNACHUELOS
SPA ES0000053 SIERRA NORTE
SCI ES6130013 Barrancos del Río Retortillo
SCI ES6130015 Río Guadalquivir -Tramo Medio
SPA ES6140004 SIERRA NEVADA
SCI ES6140006 SIERRA DE ARANA
SCI ES6140009 SIERRA NEVADA NOROESTE
SPA ES6160002 ALTO GUADALQUIVIR
SPA ES6160007 Sierra Mágina
SCI ES6160009 Estribaciones de Sierra Mágina
SCI ES6160010 Tramo Inferior del Río Guadalimar y Alto Guadalquivir
SCI ES6160014 Río Guadalimar
SPA ES6170006 SIERRA DE LAS NIEVES
SCI ES6170032 SIERRA BLANQUILLA
SCI ES6170034 Río Guadalevín
SCI ES6180004 Sierra de Alanís
SCI ES6180012 MINAS EL GALAYO Y LA JABATA
SCI PTCON0053 Moura / Barrancos
SPA GR1440006 KORYFES OROUS KOZIAKA

BENEFICIARIES

Name Type
Fundacin Gypaetus Coordinator
Quercus, Portugal Participant
Centro de Estudos da Avifauna Ibérica (CEAI), Portugal Participant
University of Crete–Special Account for Research (UoC), Greece Participant
ARCTUROS, Greece Participant

READ MORE

Type Resource
Project web site Project's website
Publication Layman report (Greek version)
Publication Layman report (Portuguese version)
Publication Layman report (Spanish version)
Publication Layman report
Publication After-LIFE Communication Plan
Publication "προγραμμα δρασεων υια τηναντιμετωηιση της παρανομης χρησης δηλητηριασμενων δολωματων στην ελλαδα" (1.42 MB)
Newsletter "INNOVATION AGAINST POISON: September 2011 Issue" (2.93 MB)
Newsletter "INNOVATION AGAINST POISON: Spring 2012 Issue" (615 KB)
Newsletter "INNOVATION AGAINST POISON: Newsletter Nº 1.- 2013 #Winter" (1.11 MB)
Newsletter "INNOVATION AGAINST POISON: December 2011 Issue" (3.90 MB)
Newsletter "INNOVATION AGAINST POISON: Nexsletter n°4-2012 #Autumn" (2.52 MB)
Leaflet "Red Europea de Cazadores contra el Veneno: presentación: ¡Trabajando juntos ganamos todos" (2.50 MB)
Leaflet "Red Europea de Municipios contra el Veneno: objetivos: ¡Trabajando juntos ganamos todos!" (1.92 MB)
Leaflet "Inovação contra o veneno: Trabalhando juntos, ganhamos todos" (327 KB)
Leaflet "Red Europea de Municipios contra el Veneno: objetivos: ¡Trabajando juntos ganamos todos!" (1.92 MB)
Leaflet "Red Europea de Ganaderos contra el Veneno: objetivos: ¡Trabajando juntos ganamos todos!" (1.97 MB)
Leaflet "Red Europea de Ganaderos contra el Veneno: presentación: ¡Trabajando juntos ganamos todos!" (2.26 MB)
Leaflet "Red Europea de Cazadores contra el Veneno: objetivos: ¡Trabajando juntos ganamos todos!" (2.84 MB)
Leaflet "Innovation against poison: working together we all win!" (2.282 KB)
Leaflet "Innovation against poison: Working together we all win!" (2.22 MB)
Leaflet "Innovación contral el veneno: ¡Trabajando juntos ganamos todos!" (2.41 MB)