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REDUCING THE THREAT FROM (ILLEGAL) HUNTING ON THREATENED WATERBIRDS IN KOSTANAY, KAZAKHSTAN - 2012-2013

The Kostanay region in Northern Kazakhstan is the major stop-over area for waterbirds migrating from their Russian breeding grounds further to wintering areas to the west and further South. The area is particularly critical for globally threatened species such as the Lesser White-fronted Goose (Anser erythropus). Hunting pressure on waterbirds is known to be extremely high in Kostanay. The area is vast and most wetland areas are commissioned out to private game reserves. In addition the key sites used by migratory waterbirds fluctuate from year to year depending on annual water levels making the enforcement of hunting legislation even more difficult. Cooperation with the local hunting authorities, game reserve management and owners as well as local hunters is key in tackling the threat of illegal hunting of threatened waterbirds in the region and one of the main goals of this project is to establish such cooperation.

Project activities therefore include, amongst others, organizing a workshop for local hunters on the identification of threatened species such as the Lesser White-fronted Goose as well as meetings with the owners and management of local game reserves to discuss possible measures to reduce the threat of illegal hunting to these species. In addition the project will aim to strengthen the national capacity in Kazakhstan to carry out monitoring work, in particular on the Lesser White-fronted Goose.