PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 10, 2014
Vast numbers of European birds and other wildlife will be spared from illegal slaughter, thanks to a two-year moratorium on all hunting enacted by the government of Albania.
The Balkan country, which lies along a major migratory flyway, encompasses wetlands and other habitats that provide crucial refueling stops for millions of migrating birds. But poor law enforcement, a surge in gun ownership, and an influx of foreign hunters had made Albania essentially a year-round shooting range. Targets were not just game species but also eagles, cranes, shorebirds, and even small songbirds.
"Albania was a death trap for migrating birds," said Gabriel Schwaderer, executive director of the conservation organization EuroNatur.