Captive-Bred Falcons Causing 'Genetic Pollution'
Market Demand for Wild, Smuggled Falcons
is Not Reduced by Captive-Bred Falcons, Sold in the Arabian Gulf
Captive-bred farm falcons are produced every year for Middle East markets, primarily by back-yard breeders and several industrial-scale factory farms in Europe and North America.
Falcon farmers claim their supplies of domestic falcons 'eclipse and replace' Arab demand for wild falcons. Falcon breeders insist that each farm falcon sold in the Middle East, represents "one less wild falcon smuggled from nature".
However the numbers do not lie: In 1982 less than 50 farm falcons were sold in the Arabian Gulf, while approx. 2,000 wild falcons were smuggled and sold. Arabian falconers overwhelmingly prefer to buy and hunt with wild falcons, because when compared to wild birds, farm-produced falcons simply cannot hunt well.
By 2001, almost 1,000 captive-bred falcons were sold in the Gulf. The highest year of wild falcon trade on record was also in 2001, when over 14,000 wild contraband falcons were sold in the Gulf. This increase in farm-bred falcon sales represents a totally irrelevant influence on today's ever-increasing, Arab demand for wild, smuggled falcons.
Contrary to the claims of captive-breeders, as farm falcon sales increase in the Middle East, so does demand for illegally smuggled wild-origin specimens. i.e. there is no conservation value in breeding falcons in captivity. Furthermore, farm falcons released into nature are now inter-breeding with wild falcons, causing fatal 'genetic pollution' within wild falcon populations.
Please sign U.C.R.'s
, banning international traffic and sales of captive-bred falcons.
Captive-Breeding Farms Produce and Release Non-Native Falcons,
Causing Genetic Pollution Among Wild Falcon Populations
August 04, 2004
- The University of Goteborg’s Dr. Peter Lindberg releases this abstract on his soon-to-publish a study on environmental liabilities that occur when falconer’s captive-bred falcons are released into nature, where they cross-breed with wild falcons. Dr. Lindberg also represents U.C.R.'s
Science Advisory Board
A benchmark study, Dr. Lindberg establishes that falconer’s birds are causing deleterious genetic pollution of wild falcon genomes.
Captive breeding interests represented by
Dr. Robert Kenward
, are opposed to the dissemination of Dr. Lindberg's investigative study.