Regional Meeting of Eastern European Breeding Countries under the AEWA Black-tailed Godwit International Working Group

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 to Friday, October 25, 2013
Kiev, Ukraine

The regional meeting under the AEWA Black-tailed Godwit International Working Group of the Eastern European Breeding range states took place on the 23.-25. October 2013 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Representatives from Belarus, Finland, Latvia, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Russia, Poland and Ukraine as well as the Netherlands and the UNEP/AEWA Secretariat came together to discuss the implementation of the AEWA International Single Species Action Plan for the Black-tailed Godwit across the breeding and staging areas in Eastern Europe. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Volodymyr Domashlinets from the Ukrainian Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources and facilitated by the Working Group Coordinator Mr. Ivo Walsmit.

The meeting commenced with presentations of each national delegation on the current status of the species in their country, with only Finland reporting an increasing trend. The main threat to the species in the Eastern European breeding countries is habitat loss due to changing agricultural practices and land use changes in general (for example the increased management of seasonal floods and well as the degradation of mires). Other challenges include gaps in knowledge and the threat from hunting.

Conservation activities prioritized by the countries to be implemented in the short term include the identification and subsequent protection of key breeding sites, the implementation of mowing and grazing activities where appropriate, identifying local habitat requirements and implementing them as well as identifying the migration routes. Countries also discussed the establishment of a common color-ringing scheme for Black-tailed Godwits along the Eastern European flyway within the framework of the Wader Study Group as well as a joint research project for the Eastern European breeding countries to close knowledge gaps with a focus on Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. 

The meeting was organized by the Ukrainian Society for the Protection of Birds (USPB) with funding provided by BirdLife Netherlands and the Ministry of Economic Affairs in the Netherlands.