Spanish Hunters fight in Court against Wildlife Crime

April 29, 2024
April 29, 2024 FACE

In a landscape where preserving biodiversity and protecting endangered species are European goals, hunters play a pivotal role in nature conservation, particularly in the recovery and active management of large carnivore species like the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus). However, these efforts can be jeopardized by poaching activities. Therefore, it’s crucial to align nature conservation field actions with the fight against wildlife crime.

Aligned with these thoughts, the Murcia Hunting Federation and the Artemisan Foundation have joined as plaintiffs in a legal case against an individual accused of killing an Iberian lynx last August in Lorca, Murcia. The lynx had been recently released as part of the Iberian lynx recovery project. The accused is charged with hunting a protected and endangered species, claiming he mistook the lynx for a wild boar. Allegedly, upon realizing the mistake, the individual moved and hid the lynx away from the place of the shot.

Both organizations strongly condemn the incident, emphasizing that no hunter should shoot unless completely certain of the target, with clear visibility and no risk involved. They regret the unfortunate death of the animal, highlighting the hunting sector’s significant contribution to the Iberian lynx’s recovery. They note that the current population exceeds 1,600 individuals in the Iberian Peninsula, with nine out of ten lynxes successfully preserved within hunting estates benefiting from conservation efforts.

These hunting and nature conservation organizations stress the need to hold those responsible accountable to prevent such lamentable events from recurring and damaging the significant recovery efforts undertaken by numerous organizations and individuals, including hunting stakeholders. Furthermore, the Murcia Hunting Federation and the Artemisan Foundation commend the rapid investigation conducted by the Civil Guard and affirm their commitment to participating in any legal action against wildlife crimes, reinforcing the hunting sector’s strong opposition to illegal activities.

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