(MENAFN - Jordan Times) The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) has launched a campaign to raise awareness of local hunting regulations among hunters and visitors to the country.
The RSCN has installed signs in areas where hunting activities are concentrated and at border crossings with messages to hunters and visitors who bring birds or other animals into the country, according to RSCN officials.
The campaign is intended to protect the many migratory birds that pass through Jordan on their semi-annual journeys between the northern and southern hemispheres, as well as other local wildlife.
"The Kingdom's unique location along one of the world's most important bird migration routes makes its nature reserves a vital habitat for many migrating birds," RSCN Director General Yehya Khaled said yesterday.
The Rift Valley-Red Sea route is the world's second most-used flyway, with more than 1.5 million birds crossing it during the spring and autumn migration seasons. Migratory birds in the southern hemisphere use the route to return to Europe and the northern hemisphere in the spring. On the way, they stop over in places like the Jordan Valley to rest and drink water.
Omar Shoshan, RSCN spokesperson and head of its environmental policies and advocacy department, highlighted the importance of raising the awareness of hunters and tourists to protect Jordan's wildlife species.
"The campaign is particularly important at this time because it is the time of the birds' spring migration, which started in February and ends in mid-May," Shoshan told The Jordan Times yesterday.
A total of 37 species of migratory soaring birds, which maintain flight by using rising air currents, travel on the Rift Valley-Dead Sea Flyway annually, according to the RSCN.
At least five of these species - white and black storks, buzzards, eagles and vultures - are endangered.
A recent study released by the society showed that although the majority of hunters in Jordan lack awareness about migratory soaring birds, they agree that illegal hunting is the main threat to avian biodiversity.
Khaled highlighted that the society seeks to regulate hunting activities in Jordan and build hunters' awareness of laws and regulations governing hunting in the country.
"The campaign also seeks to acquaint tourists with international conventions which Jordan is signatory to, such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)," Khaled noted.
CITES is an international agreement between governments which aims at ensuring that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival, according to its website.
There are 7,000 hunters in the Kingdom, 3,000 of whom are not registered with the society, according to the RSCN. The location of hunting activities changes with the season, with hunters mainly active in the Jordan Valley, mountainous areas and the eastern desert.