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
- 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
- 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
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.