A Yellow-billed Kite in flight © Charles J. Sharp
Abu Dhabi, 20 December 2021 – The 4th Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to the Raptors MOU met from 13 – 15 December to discuss key conservation priorities for African–Eurasian birds of prey.
TAG members proposed amendments to the text of the Memorandum of Understanding and the Action Plan to clarify objectives, expected results and activities.
TAG endorsed amendments to the MOU text, the species list (Annex 1), sites list (Annex 3 Table 3) and the Action Plan (Annex 3) following several rounds of consultations over the past year. One additional species, the Yellow-billed Kite, was added to Annex 1 of the Raptors MOU following a split from the Black Kite and the recognition of its migratory status. A significantly expanded list of internationally important sites for raptors was endorsed by TAG to go forward to the 3rd Meeting of the Signatories (MOS3) for final approval.
TAG members also proposed to Signatories a significantly more extensive list of sites that are internationally important for migratory raptors. With the updated list of species and sites, the Raptors MOU will rely on the latest scientific information.
TAG agreed on reporting forms for Signatories and for Cooperating Partners that will ensure accurate information in national reports and avoid duplication of efforts for National Contact Points.
Finally, TAG agreed on developing two analytic tools that will provide important insight into the status of migratory birds of prey and the gap in the network of internationally important sites for raptors. The Conservation Status Assessment Report, to be developed in 2022, will inform on the status and trend of the species covered by the MOU.
The Pilot Site Network Analysis carried out for an initial set of 12 species with different distribution and migration patterns, identified potential gaps in the network of sites. TAG agreed that it would be valuable to expand the network analysis to all the species covered by the Raptors MOU.
All these proposals will be discussed at the next Meeting of the Signatories. TAG recognized the progress on the delivery of the flagship projects in the SakerGAP and welcomed the continuing work of the Saker Falcon Task Force including the two discussion groups on Electrocution and Adaptive Management Framework for sustainable use.
TAG also offered the opportunity to exchange updates on the implementation of the Vulture Multi-species Action Plan with regional updates from Africa, Europe and Asia.
Updates from TAG members included information on recent genetic analysis that highlighted important differences between the western and eastern populations of Saker Falcon; news about the new hunting legislation and enforcement structure in Saudi Arabia; updates on several conservation initiatives ongoing in Mongolia on the Golden Eagle, Saker Falcon and Pallas Fish Eagles and on the poisoning prevention programme for vultures being implemented in Kenya.
Finally, TAG members received an update on conservation and research work underway in India targeting the Amur Falcon, Saker Falcon and on the progress regarding the National Vulture Action Plan and the Central Asian Flyway.
On the last day, TAG looked at emerging issues with contributions on the upcoming Eurasian African Bird Migration Atlas, the lessons learnt from the reintroduction programs in Spain and ways to address human-wildlife conflicts. These contributions will contribute to the development of the Work Plan 2023-2025 to be completed in 2022 ahead of MOS3.
Last updated on 20 December 2021