Russia is calling

Eugene Potapov potapov at VAX.OX.AC.UK
Wed May 12 14:29:43 CDT 1993

This is an article from Raptor-link (Russian birds of prey and Owls

Illegal export of Birds of Prey
The illegal export of rare animal species has become more widespread in
the CIS for several years now. According to the newspaper "Commersant",
illegal trade of rare animals on the black market brings the second
highest turnover after drugs trafficking. Not surprisingly, many
people have been found to be involved including high ranking
officials. Birds of prey are priced in hard currency and usually
paid for in cash on the spot. The lack of any reliable customs service,
the illiteracy of customs officials and their inability to tell a
gyrfalcon from a bantam hen after being bribed make rare bird
trafficking a highly advantageous business. It is to our countryUs
 shame that our birds of prey are frequently being confiscated on
borders between other countries. It is worth mentioning the  shipment
of Imperial Eagles confiscated in Germany. In this instance the
German authorities refused to return the birds to Russia fearing
that they would die due to inefficient nature conservation authorities.
Trafficking routes for birds of prey go primarily via Moscow and
St. Petersburg to Germany and Czechoslovakia. Crossing the newly
independent states also presents few difficulties. It is rumoured that
birds are also being transported to the Middle East via Afghanistan.
Birds are sent to South East Asian countries via Vladivostok and

Information of the newsletter may be obtained from Eugene Potapov, EGI, Dept of
Zoology, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK, Phone (0865)271133, Fax
(0865)310447, email: Potapov at

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