Richard Porter (BirdLife’s Middle East Advisor) the co-author of a new book titled “Birds of the Middle East” alerted Dr Ralf Speth, CEO, Jaguar Land Rover about the illegal killing of 217 nightjars (non-game birds), which was proudly posted online by a Lebanese poacher showing the kill on the bonnet of his Land Rover vehicle.
These images have circulated widely on social media. They were taken recently in Lebanon and the first two show scores of dead European Nightjars – slaughtered on their long migration to Africa. Whilst I realize that you cannot control the activities of those who purchase Land Rovers, I do hope that Jaguar Land Rover will add its voice to those calling for stricter laws and enforcement over the illegal and widespread killing of birds in the Middle East. Porter wrote in his letter to Speth.
BirdLife International and the Ornithological Society of the Middle East are currently undertaking a study of the extent and magnitude of such killing with a view to preparing an action plan to encourage a greater awareness of the plight of birds in the region that are threatened by shooting and trapping and, in particular, appropriate action by governments.
I write as a previous owner of a Land Rover, author of Birds of the Middle East and as a conservationist who has greatly enjoyed visits to Lebanon to help the Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon (SPNL) with their important work of protecting wildlife. Porter concluded.