The hunting quota of 440,000 larks set by the Ministry of Waters and Forests for this year is unjustified, environment NGOs warn, Stirileprotv.ro reported. Romania is one of the few European countries where the hunting of this bird is still allowed.
“We don’t know of any study showing why 400,000 larks can be hunted in Romania. The quota was approved based on requests. Meaning, the hunting associations requested this, and this is what they received,” Papp Tamaş, the president of Milvus Association, said, quoted by Stirileprotv.ro.
In its turn, the Ministry of Waters and Forests says the quota does not exceed 10% of the entire lark population in the country. But NGOs dispute the number. According to the Romanian Ornithological Society (SOR), at most 850,000 pairs of Eurasian skylarks are in the country.
With the lark, other singing bird species, which are not on the list of species allowed for hunting, are shot as well. In the past years, several poachers were caught in Italy and Hungary with birds hunted in Romania.
“Under the umbrella of the lark, other singing birds, not on the list allowed for hunting, are poached. The winners are the poachers, who then sell them or cook them in Mediterranean countries,” Ovidiu Bufnilă, a SOR spokesperson, told Stirileprotv.ro.