The illegal trade in birds of prey sadly takes place in certain parts of the world for a variety of reasons. Raptor Aid aims to educate and raise awareness about the illegal trade in birds of prey to try to bring a stop to it. As you can imagine, this is not straightforward. The main reason for the illegal trade usually stems from financial gain, whether it is birds being sold in a pet market in Thailand, or falcons being trapped for falconry in various parts of the Middle East. The financial benefits for the illegal trade in birds of prey can vary from a few Thai baht to feed a family, or tens of thousands of dollars for a highly prized falcon in the middle east, but both are equally as damaging to bird of prey populations.
Young Birds of Prey (and other species) for sale on a street in Vietnam
Lanner falcons trapped in the Middle East to be used as lures for the more prized Peregrines and Saker falcons
So how do we bring a halt to the illegal trade in birds of prey?
The only way we can bring an end to the illegal trade in wild birds of prey is by lobbying and working with government officials and in-situ conservation organisations to educate people about the real importance of keeping birds of prey in the wild. If you are away visiting one of these countries and see what you think might be illegal trade in birds of prey, try and gather as much information and photographic evidence as possible and send it to Raptor Aid. We advise that you never come into conflict with anyone or purchase any of the birds; they will need special rehabilitation to survive in the wild and purchasing them will only encourage more to be taken from the wild.
We aim to work closely with other organisations in the UK to highlight the illegal trade in birds of prey and how it can be halted. Keep an eye on our blog for updates on individual cases of illegal trade.