Saker Falcon and Red-footed Falcon to Appendix I of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals
In the 10th Conference of Parties of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (also known as Bonn Convention), two species of birds of prey, the Red-footed Falcon and the Saker Falcon have been listed in the Appendix I. The proposal originated from Hungary and it was submitted officially by the European Union. The higher conservation category means more attention and more funds for the species listed in Appendix I. In case of Saker Falcon it is especially needed as the Central Asian core population has been decreasing at a dramatic rate, as latest data from 2011 confirms again.
The Conference approved the listing of the Red-footed Falcon without major debate, however a separate working group was formed for Saker Falcon to resolve the conflicts of interests. The working group met seven times and it was working 11 hours and 56 minutes in total to find compromise. According to the result, the species is listed in Appendix I (with the exception of the Mongol population), however the resolution also records that more countries disagree with that, but accepts it. In addition, if there is an improvement in the conservation status of the species in a given country, that country may request to de-list the species in to Appendix II. The resolution calls for the forming of a Saker Falcon Task Force that has to prepare a global species conservation plan (in co-operation with the affected countries) and has to start implementing it.
That strengthening of the international conservation of the species is a major Hungarian success, as the proposal was prepared by Hungary during the Hungarian EU Presidency. Experts of the Ministry of Rural Development, Bükk National Park Directorate and MME/BirdLife Hungary were compiling the proposal. After a rather long and tough discussion the EU Member States had approved the proposal and it was submitted to the Conference of the Convention as a common EU proposal.