LIFE Project Cover Photo

Delivering the EU Biodiversity Strategy: Awareness and Capacity Building against Bird Crime in Priority Flyway Countries

Reference: LIFE17 GIE/NL/000599 | Acronym: LIFE Against Bird Crime



Illegal activities such as killing, trapping or trading birds still occur in many EU countries, with several countries identified as particular hotspots. In addition, widespread illegal practices outside the EU impact directly on migratory species within the EU. This forms a threat to the attainment of the objectives of the Birds Directive and the first target of the EU biodiversity strategy, which aims to improve the conservation status of EU species.


The long-term goal of the four-year project is to significantly reduce the illegal killing, trapping and taking of birds in the EU and neighbouring Mediterranean region.

Specific objectives include:

  • Expand and improve knowledge on the illegal killing of birds (IKB) in the target region, in order to identify and promote strategic actions within and beyond the scope of the project;
  • Raise awareness and stimulate public demand to stop IKB;
  • Support increased international and national advocacy efforts to ensure political commitment and technical capacity to enforce actions to end IKB;
  • Design and implement pilot projects with key stakeholders in priority countries to demonstrate, share and promote effective approaches to reduce illegal killing and taking of birds;
  • Contribute towards achieving the objectives of the Birds Directive, the EU roadmap for combating illegal killing, trapping and trade of birds, and the EU 2020 biodiversity strategy;
  • Maintain and strengthen the networks of civil society organisations and stakeholder groups working together to address IKB.
  • Expected results:

  • A better understanding of the scale, impact and causes of illegal killing of birds (IKB) through systematic monitoring in priority countries including Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Croatia;
  • Secretariats from international conventions and the European Commission put pressure on national governments to take action to end IKB;
  • Governments monitor and report on IKB cases to the Convention on Migratory Species, Bern, and the European Commission;
  • Governments are committed to end IKB;
  • The general public along the African-Eurasia flyway expresses support to stop IKB, with supporting actions against IKB, more exposure to nature education and increased awareness of IKB. The campaign reaches 3 000 000 people, 40 000 people respond to calls for action;
  • Targeting potential end usersof IKB leads to reductions in illegal behaviour or reduction in demand;
  • National legislation and enforcement structures are adequate or improving;
  • Reduction in the numbers of birds being illegally killed per year in demonstration sites in priority countries. 50-100 000 fewer birds killed or a 30% reduction in birds killed.


    Reference: LIFE17 GIE/NL/000599
    Acronym: LIFE Against Bird Crime
    Start Date: 01/09/2018
    End Date: 31/10/2022
    Total Eligible Budget: 1,817,614 €
    EU Contribution: 1,088,026 €
    Project Location:


    Coordinating Beneficiary: Stichting BirdLife Europe
    Legal Status: PNC
    Address: Boulevard 12, 3700BM, Zeist, Nederland
    Contact Person: Lilla Barabas
    Email: Send Email
    Website: Visit Website

    LIFE Project Map



    • Birds
    • Awareness raising - Information
    • Improved legislative compliance and enforcement


    • migratory species
    • monitoring
    • public awareness campaign


    • 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)
    • Bonn Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals - CMS (01/11/1983)
    • Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (01.06.1982)


    Name Type
    Stichting BirdLife Europe Coordinator
    BirdLife Cyprus, Cyprus Participant
    Hellenic Ornithological Society, Greece Participant
    Association BIOM, Croatia Participant
    BirdLife International, United Kingdom Participant
    Lega Italiana Protezione Uccelli - LIPU Onlus, Italy Participant