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Illegal use of poisoned baits is a serious threat to public health and biodiversity, both in Europe and world-wide. In the EU, this illegal practice represents one of the biggest conservation problems for some endangered species, often becoming the main cause of non-natural death. Globally, the illegal use of poisoned baits threatens many different conservation programmes.

Measures carried out to fight this problem have not as yet achieved the desired increase in public awareness. This shows the need for specific projects focusing on target groups (e.g. stockbreeders, hunters and municipalities in rural areas). The LIFE+ "Innovative actions against illegal poisoning in EU Mediterranean pilot areas", coordinated by Fundación Gypaetus, aims to evaluate the effectiveness of such innovative actions focusing on stakeholders.

Aims of the Project

Expected results

Importance of social participation in the project

Technical description of the project


Aims of the Project

The LIFE Project "Innovation Against Poison" aims to develop, monitor and evaluate different innovative actions to fight the illegal use of poisoned baits, focusing on target groups. Actions are carried out in eight areas in Portugal, Greece and Spain, which represent important Mediterranean habitats, contain affected species and predators, and where conflicting rural uses and reasons which motivate the illegal use of poisoned baits are present. Thanks to this, at the end of the project, such "frame actions" could be applied to other Mediterranean countries.

One of the most innovative actions is a partnership of networks committed to fighting the problems; the European Network of Municipalities Against Illegal Poisoning (ENMAIP), the­ European Network of Hunters Against Illegal Poisoning (ENHAIP) and the European Network of Stockbreeders Against Illegal Poisoning (ENSAIP) have formed a mutual and voluntary agreement with stakeholders. Members will receive technical and legal advice from the technicians of the LIFE Project regarding the illegal use of poisoned baits.

Such measures are intended to socially exclude the few individuals who carry out this illegal practice, through the pressure exerted by members of their own groups (usually hunters or stockbreeders), as well as to encourage rural sectors to get involved in the fight. This will decrease the sense of impunity among offenders, raise awareness about dangerous effects of this practice and engage target groups in public and legal persecution of poisoners.

The project specifically aims to:

-   Implement, monitor, evaluate and spread illustrative actions which might improve current strategies against the illegal use of poisoned baits at a European level.

-   To mitigate biodiversity loss caused by this problem.

-   To improve the conservation status of the species most affected by poisoning.

-   Create and distribute effective and sustainable tools which allow autonomy for the different groups involved in the control of illegal use of poisoned baits.

-   Develop methodologies and indicators to objectively evaluate the rationale for the use of poison today.

-   To improve knowledge, motivation and participation of the rural population in the fight against illegal poisoning.

Expected results

The results of this project will give information about which measures to fight the illegal use of poisoned baits are effective for which species and to what extent they are affected by other factors as well as how accepted by society they are.  The project will be carried out by giving active participation to key rural sectors (municipalities, stockbreeders and hunters) when acting against illegal poisoning.

The information compiled during the project will allow the optimization of resources against illegal use of poisoned baits. The current project represents an initial investment to evaluate different innovative actions against poison in different contexts: administrative, social and ecological.

Different working dynamics will be developed as well as social networks which will help to mitigate  tension and conflict between  traditional rural activities (hunting, stockbreeding, etc.) and conservation programmes, and thus  represent a step forward towards improvement of the conservation of affected species (Bearded vulture, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Cinereus vulture, Egyptian vulture, Iberian lynx, Eurasian brown bear, Iberian wolf, etc.)

Importance of social participation in the project

This new approach towards fighting against the illegal use of poisoned baits focuses mainly on working on the roots of the problem in an attempt to eradicate the reasons behind its use through the cooperation of stakeholders (hunters, stockbreeders and municipal entities of rural areas).

The actions of the current project are based therefore on a mutual and voluntary agreement with stakeholders, aiming for clearly positive results for both.

Technical description of the project

Coordination beneficiary
Fundación Gypaetus (

Associated beneficiary

Quercus-Associação Nacional de Conservação da Natureza (Portugal)

Centro de Estudos da Avifauna Ibérica (CEAI) (Portugal)

ARCTUROS Civil Society for Protection of Natural Environment and Wildlife (Greece)

Natural History Museum of Crete (UoC - University of Crete) (Greece)
1st October 2010 - 1st October 2015

5.660.886 €


European Commission- LIFE+ Programme 

Beneficiaries: FG, CEAI, QUERCUS, ARCTUROS, UoC (Greek)

Consejería de Medio Ambiente de la Junta de Andalucía (Spain)

Câmara Municipal de Idaulea-A-Nova (Portugal)

Ministry of Rural Development and Food (Greece)


Instituto da Conservaçao da Natureza e da Biodiversidade

Associação de Produtores de Ovinos do Sul da Beira

Associação Nacional de Proprietários e Produtores de Caça.

Estación Biológica de Doñana. CSIC

Unión de Pequeños Agricultores y Ganaderos de Andalucía.

Red de Gobiernos Locales + Biodiversidad 2010. Federación Española de Municipios y Provincias (FEMP).

Federación Andaluza de Caza (FAC).

Consejo Andaluz de Colegios Oficiales de Veterinarios.

Hunting Federation of Crete & Dodecanese.

Association of Professional Stockbreeders of the Prefecture of Heraklion.

Municipality of Rouvas.

Municipality and Forestry Service of Kalampaka.

Municipality of Tymfaion.

Prefecture and Forestry Service of Trikala.

Association of Stockbreeders of the Prefecture of Trikala.

Câmara Municipal de Mourão.

Biogado. Agrupamento de Criadores de Gado Biológico.

Ecomúrtiga- Associaçao pela Natureza e Tradição.

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