Position Statement on Lifting the Ban on Hunting of Red List Species in Georgia

19 January 2012

With the recent changes to the legislation the ban on Red List species hunting in Georgia has been lifted allowing shooting of even those species that were originally driven to the verge of extinction due to excessive hunting.

Since the establishment of the current national red list in 2006, the Georgian government has failed to meet the requirements of the international as well as national legislation:

  • No effective control of illegal hunting has been ensured
  • No effective measures have been implemented for the restoration of the red list species
  • Red list species monitoring system has not been put in place.

Only by ensuring the above could we achieve any improvement of the status of the endangered species for their subsequent removal from the Red List and then for permitting their hunting with well justified hunting quotas.

In our opinion, the changes recently made to the Georgian legislation in a non-transparent manner will have serious implications:

  • Extremely small populations of the red deer and wild (Bezoar) goat will face an imminent threat of extinction.
  • The whole purpose and role of the national Red List will be undermined as red list species loose any special protection status as compared to non-red list species.
  • Contradicting the sustainability use principles and only aiming at a short-term financial effect, these changes will not support the development of nature-based or hunting tourism in Georgia (if the latter is what is currently intended).

We consider it totally unacceptable to set any hunting quotas on the critically endangered species such as red deer and wild goat. On the other hand any hunting quotas defined for other red list species will fail to have any scientific justification whatsoever due to nonexistence of credible up-to-date information. In the current circumstances, setting any hunting quotas on the red list species should be viewed as an act of the destruction of Georgia’s nature.


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