by Karina Manukyan
The hunting season in Armenia traditionally opens in August. In the meantime, the environmentalists do not cease claiming that the lack of proper control along with the hunters' incompetence may endanger the Red Book bird species.
Silva Adamyan, Head of the Bird Lovers' Center NGO, has told ArmInfo that it is necessary to ban bird hunting in the habitats of Red Book species, for instance, near Armash ponds. She says that it is difficult even for the experts to differentiate the endangered species from others at a distance. So, due to their incompetence, the hunters may aim at rare birds. "I think Armash should become a protected area, otherwise, we will lose 200 species of wader species", she says.
Illegal hunting tours are another threat to the birds. The environmentalists have repeatedly pointed out that some websites offer hunting of rare animals and birds in Armenia. Adamyan says that despite the wide public response, the given type of business still exists.
One of the websites offering hunting tours is www.huntingconsortium.com. At http://www.huntingconsortium.com/asia-armenia.htm one can see a proposal to hunt Armenian moufflons and bezoar goats in Armenia. To note, these animals are registered in the Red Book.
As regards the flesh bird hunting, Adamyan says that it is also a profitable business. Rare birds such as black vultures or peregrines are exported from Armenia to be further sold in the black market.