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Birds massacred in Lebanon - Unfettered hunting a disgrace

21/11/2012 12:35:58

Two pelicans that have been shot in Lebanon being proudly displayed.

Birds of all shapes and sizes killed in their thousands - Our thanks to the Lebanon Eco Movement for their help with this article.
November 2012. We have been contacted by someone from Lebanon who wants to highlight the terrible situation there, where birds are shot indiscriminately in there thousands. As Lebanon is at the cross roads between Europe, Asia and Africa, many of the birds are killed while migrating to and from their breeding grounds.

Hunting in Lebanon banned in 1995
The environmental situation in Lebanon is very chaotic. Hunting was banned by a law issued in 1995, and this law is still in force, though almost totally ignored. A new hunting law was agreed in 2004, but has never been implemeneted. There is no enforcement of this law, and some believe that Lebanon should go back to the pre-1995 situation where hunting was legal, but regulated by season and species. There are, as everywhere, repsonsible hunters too, but the irresponsible shooters are giving Lebanon a terrible reputation.

Species that were hunted 

It can be hard to tell, but just from these images it appears that the species below have been targetted. Our thanks to our friends at Bird Watching magazine for help with some of the ID.

  • White Stork
  • White Pelican
  • Common Crane
  • Griffon Vulture
  • Hobby
  • Sparrowhawk
  • Lesser Spotted Eagle
  • Steppe Eagle

Almost all birds hunted.
The fashion is that the hunters seem to boast about their kills, and the bigger, the rarer and the larger the number the better as far as they are concerned.

Lebanese Eco Movement
The Lebanese Eco Movement says "All kinds of birds are being hunted, and most of hunters are indifferent to the matter of protected birds. We are witnessing the murder of many protected birds, mainly soaring birds (aquatic birds and raptors), including pelicans, storks, cranes, raptors."

"As for the birds that can be hunted, there is no respect for the numbers and limits. We are witnessing birds being killed in thousands. A single hunter may kill more than one thousand birds. Hunters are of all ages; they may be as young as 10, even though Lebanese law prohibits holding weapons for ages less than 18."

"Hunting mainly takes place during weekends, but hunters can be seen any day of the week, at any place, even inside cities and between houses."

Griffon vulture proudly displayed by a hunter in Lebanon.

Griffon vulture proudly displayed by a hunter in Lebanon.

This massacre is of worldwide importance and especially for Europe as most migrating birds passing through Lebanon are moving from Europe towards Africa or vice versa. It's very sad and discouraging to see birds that are protected in Europe by thousands of activists, hundreds of organizations, and millions of dollars, being murdered in Lebanon without any action from the government, and without any pressure from the European countries.

Lebanon is facing a huge problem yet the Minister of the Environment does not appear to be taking any action at all.

The images we have illustrate the wide variety of birds that have been killed. As well as the vulture and pelicans, scroll down to see some of the carnage, including storks, cranes, many raptors including eagles, and hundreds and hundreds of smaller birds.

Whilst we know that the Middle East is in turmoil at the moment, and that protecting birds will not be high on the agenda of many countries, but this senseless slaughter will have dire consequences for the local environment as well as for many of the bird populations of Europe, Africa and the Middle East.


Read the comments about this article and leave your own comment

21st century scum of the planet

What goes through these idiots minds? "I'm bored, I'll take my gun and blast rare birds out of the sky" They all look like meat-head macho idiots. Peas for brains. Cannot believe this is still happening in the 21st century. Is it the heat? Turns morons into killers? Who sells them the weapons? What a load of useless scumbags. 

Posted by: | 25 Oct 2013 16:57:15

Not theirs to kill

Some of these birds are clearly still alive when photographed. These birds are migratory and are not Lebanon's birds to kill. Mass killing like this is going on throughout Europe and the middle East and despite campaigns to stop it there seems to be no real incentive on the part of Governments or communities to end the practice. These Lebanese men are using birds as target practice and as symbols of their prowess. They are just as bad as the Cypriot, Italian and other Europeans who do the same thing. Well you know guys it's not working because to me and other conservationists you are just a bunch of sick vandals destroying our heritage and that of our children. The problem needs highlighting and the men, their countries and their ineffective Governments should be named and shamed.

Posted by: Karen Bradbury | 28 Jan 2013 09:29:34

Too BAD that some shooters/poachers are ruining the image of the true Lebanese hunters who are the most nature friendly.
we as Hunters trying to raise awareness about what should be shot and what not, and when and where and how to keep this hobby a noble sport. not as it looks in these photos.
though there is some photos in this article that are not in Lebanon.
and some photos like the photo number 9 (in syria) , the birds are song thrushs, this bird is allowed to be hunted all over europe. and even they shoot more than this quantity in spain and turkey and france... they even kill them with poison in turkey and through them in garbage.

and in other photos you see also a lot of birds, but lets not forget that this is not necessary shot by one person, sometimes this quantities are shot by a group of 6 - 5 hunters. and not during one day, sometimes over the weekend.(though it still over limit) but i just liked to clear things up.


Posted by: Pro Leb Hunter | 29 Nov 2012 14:15:44

these pictures are terrible ... especially those with children: they will be "educated" to be like the adults. Those who kill. Those who photograph the corpses of their victims as trophies to show what they have done.

Posted by: GiuVeg | 27 Nov 2012 19:34:17

Just another example for human imbecility

Mankind tends to far too much inferiority complexes and has to compensate this unpleasant feeling by different actions. Mostly, women use much cosmetics or even plastic surgery and men prefer "hunting" for feeling superior.
These behaviours are quite embarrassing for a creature who calls itself intelligent, civilized, compassionate and even the crown of creation.
This human being - really a lower creature!
Anyone who uses more than two of his brain cells daily has to be ashamed of being part of such a destructive, ignorant, hypocritical, greedy, imbecilic and embarrassing species.

Posted by: Daniela Bress | 26 Nov 2012 14:28:27


What struck me most it's not to see these cruel pics above.
What really sadden me it's to think that these few pics are nothing compare to all wildlife crimes which happen in Lebanon and around the world.
Why many humans can't live along with Nature in armony.
Why many humans need to show their strenght by committing such evils acts.
Being wise don't belong neither to humans or God.
How could he otherwise have created man kind afterwards.

Posted by: Mirko Macinai | 25 Nov 2012 00:07:55



Posted by: PATRICIA DOONA | 24 Nov 2012 13:31:51

what a waste of beautiful bird life.

What is the point of killing all these birds , is there no respect for any kind of life , I feel physically sick looking at the poor birds wish some one would do it to the lowlifes who have done it. Theres nothing to be proud of killing all of them hope they get their comeuppance some day.

Posted by: pauline penhaligon | 23 Nov 2012 23:08:11

Ignorant Humans

They have to educated and to do that it needs money. To get money you need tourists to visit the country, maybe if the locals see that there is money to be made by allowing people to visit their country to see the birds alive and flourishing, then they just might stop shooting the birds and show foreign birdwatchers where the birds are. Sorry I'm just dreaming, It's never going to happen, if it did it would take 100s of years. Maybe the Human race will get wiped out by some virus then the wildlife will be safe. Some Humans are so utterly brainless, and we are supposed to be the superior race, I don't think so.

Posted by: Stewart Love | 23 Nov 2012 21:30:09





Posted by: Phil Scott | 23 Nov 2012 20:41:53

Humans are wanton predators.

Humans have placed themselves at the top of the "predation chain" - it is only recently in terms of human history that we have realized that it is even possible for us to control the destiny of the other species on the planet. We need EDUCATION and alternative ways to insure income in the cases where predation is done for support of the family. Calling Lebanese psychologically disturbed is simply not effective as a means of stopping this, and the accuracy of the name calling does not matter.

Lebanon has to be convinced to allow conservation education and to support it, and the people doing the predation have to be convinced of a benefit to them of stopping it.

Any ideas on how to achieve any of this would be far more useful than reviling people who clearly are seeing this activity as something enjoyable, and something acceptable. Minds and hearts have to be changed.

Posted by: Terri Leinneweber | 23 Nov 2012 17:57:05


What are these mindless idiots doing with the dead birds? Like a story a few weeks ago, I'm sure they aren't eating them all. It's their 'sport' no doubt but they have no conception of how this relates to the wider world around them.
The young boy's jumper is particularly ironic as it mentions saving the planet.
I know it isn't easy, but someone must be able to take action. I suppose its a struggling country in terms of regulation and law in many areas not just wildlife destruction so it really isn't easy to stop

Posted by: MrUltraSensitiv | 23 Nov 2012 17:49:31

sickening. doubtless we will be told that they need educating ??? wont someone in that country sort these savages out ?

Posted by: dee donworth | 23 Nov 2012 17:40:05


This is so dreadful. What chance does the world have when even young children are encouraged to kill these beautiful birds. These people must be psychologically disturbed that they can do this and feel nothing for their wanton destruction.

So much hard work has been done by so many to protect our biodiversity and to keep the natural ecology in order.

This is the worst I have ever seen. I am an animal healer and this is beyond words.

Posted by: susan Dodsworth | 23 Nov 2012 15:50:44



Posted by: ian | 22 Nov 2012 18:00:30

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