North Macedonia: Red Lists alone can’t save wild animals from poisoning and poaching


Poisonings, hunting, capturing or killing are almost everyday threats that wild animals in North Macedonia are faced with. Under threat are also the animals that are included in the Red Lists of endangered species, because despite the high sentences for these crimes, which can be up to ten years imprisonment, so far no one has been punished or sentenced. So far, in accordance with IUCN’s methodology, National Red Lists were drafted for priority fungus, big beasts, as well as for all types of amphibians and reptiles. Evaluations of 14 types of vascular plants, which have international and national importance, were also produced. A revision of the Red Lists of strictly protected and protected wild species, are planned, but that will take place after the new Law on Nature is voted in.

These lists feature many endangered species, such as the brown bear, the lynx, wolf, the otter, the jackal…The Gryphon Vulture and the Egyptian Vulture are also near extinction but still, it doesn’t mean that in reality there is any legal protection provided for their survival. Most of the laws that are protecting biodiversity and nature provide misdemeanor probation while the criminal offenses against the environment are stated by the Crime Code. These fines and sentences are high, but unfortunately, they are almost never put into practice.

The last case with the saving of 18 Gryphon vultures in Mariovo region from poisoning by dead dogs carcasses once again turned the attention toward the inappropriate care for the wildlife.

The Ministry of Environment of North Macedonia stated there is a National Action Plan for Fight Against Intentional Poisoning that was prepared by the National Working Group for Fight Against Poisons which is part of the Balkan project for fight against poisons in order to decrease the death rate of vultures and birds of prey caused by poisonous traps and
lead ammunition.

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