Na Bělidle 252/34
150 00 Praha 5
tel: +420 777 330 355
The Free Wings programme, co-ordinated by CSO, is aimed at reducing, as much as possible, all human activities which affect negatively populations of wild birds and which are in conflict with the national or international legislation.
Another goal is to deal with the problem of illegal pursuit and hunting of birds (shooting, trap catching, poisoning, etc.), smuggling and running black market, illegal captive breeding of birds, stealing young from nests etc.
Through a special „action group“, the programme associates CSO members and the members of other nongovernmental organisations as well as state conservation officials (the Czech Environmental Inspectorate and the Agency for Nature Conservation and Landscape Protection). One of our recent achievements is a newly established cooperation with the Czech Police Presidium. The action group meets regularly once a year. Every autumn, a workshop is organised where the results are evaluated and new priorities for the following year are set up.
As a part of the programme, important data on illegal pursuit of birds are collected and evaluated. The database includes several hundreds of cases.
Selected breeding pairs of the critically endangered species such as Peregrine Falcon, Saker Falcon and Imperial Eagle are monitored, to protect them against illegal pursuit.
Moreover, we participate in preparation of new legislation concerning bird protection. We are also involved in procedures open and led by the Ministry of Environment to grant permits (exceptions from the Nature and Countryside Act) for keeping and breeding of the critically endangered bird species.
Public awareness of bird crime is an important part of the Free Wings programme. We have published several informational leaflets and sticks. In 2002, the exhibition Smuggled Pleasure focused on the CITES convention and illegal trade with endangered species was held in the National Museum in Prague, attended by 60 000 people.
In 2002, the programme was awarded by the Ford Conservation and Environmental Grants Programme as the best environmental project of the year.
Since bird crime is a serious international and trans-boundary problem, we participate in the international Eurogroup Against Bird Crime initiative.
For more details see the CSO annual report.
Programme leader: Zdeněk Vermouzek, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. +420 773 380 285