PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY. December 2. VOSTOK-MEDIA- Nine gyrfalcons, rare birds listed in Russia Red Book, were seized by police in the airport of Petropavlovsk. The gyrfalcons were prepared to be smuggled from Kamchatka.
According to the Kamchatka Krai Wildlife Protection Agency, the rare birds were found in baggage of passenger, who was about to take a regular flight Petropavlovsk-Vladivostok. The birds were skillfully wrapped in cloth of dense texture and hidden in bags equipped with a cooling agent to protect them from overheating en route to Vladivostok.
Administrative offence case was instituted against the Russian national on charges of illegal smuggling of birds listed in Russian Red Book. Veterinarians have already examined the gyrfalcons and today the birds will be released into the wild.
The gyrfalcon is the largest of all falcon species and is very popular in Arab countries, where they are used for hunting. The price of a gyrfalcon may reach hundreds of thousands dollars of dollars there. In the last few years Kamchatka has experienced a massive surge in poaching capture of gyrfalcons. Dozens of these rare birds are smuggled from the peninsula yearly. There was a similar case earlier this year involving a woman who was detained in Petropavlovsk airport on allegations of smuggling gyrfalcons from Kamchatka. It seems that poaching capture of rare and endangered birds was put on a commercial scale and the lenient punishment for poaching contributes to it substantially.