Farida Belkhiri in Sud Horizons wrote in French about how 3000 plant and animal species are threatened with extinction due to fires, global warming and worst of all poaching. So, In Algeria, it’s Red alert to Poaching and Illegal Trading of wild animals.

The cry of distress has launched, this Tuesday, March 14, by the Director general of the General Directorate of Forestry of Algeria (DGF), Abdelmalek Abdelfattah, a workshop to raise awareness against poaching and illegal trade of wild animals, held in Zeralda hunting reserve.

The workshop should also lead to an action plan whose implementation will be carried out in collaboration with the National Gendarmerie for the protection of these species. “We signed an agreement with the Police for combating forest fires in 2013.

Today, given the big threat looming on especially protected species, we decided to expand the fight against poaching. The recommendations will serve as road map for the implementation of concrete actions”, he explains.

Despite the enactment of laws for the protection of the heritage of fauna in Algeria, DGF needs support of the National Gendarmerie and civil society for its application. The Director as to the protection of wild animals and hunting, Ouahida Boucekkine, called illicit traders, especially of birds, to integrate into a legal framework in order to “participate in the reproduction of the ‘Goldfinch’, that suffered a big threat and to protect the citizens of certain contagious diseases to humans.

She said that that poaching of these species is not for ‘commercial reasons or for the simple pleasure of hunting’ but rather for “medicinal purposes.” and for witchcraft

According to her, 1600 ‘Goldfinch’ birds were seized in 2016, “not sighted anymore in their natural habitats. Barbary Deer undergoes, according to her, a large poaching at the level of algero-tunisian border.

Between 2011 and 2016, according to Nafissa Mahieddine, a DGF Official, 15,774 individual animals were caught, divided into 15 species, birds, mainly, the ‘Goldfinch’ at the top. “They were seized in a dozen governorates in the West especially, by the Algerian-Moroccan border as marked by the smuggling of ‘Goldfinch’, Falcon, and “even some species of monkeys”, she says.

For his part, Commander Mdjahed, representative of the National Gendarmerie, reported that between 2012 and 2016, there were about a dozen of foreign nationalities and 30 Algerian accomplice poachers’ arrests.

“Foreign poachers are Kuwaiti, Saudi and Emirati nationals”. They were brought to court and received heavy fines before being transferred to their countries where they will also be punished”, he revealed.

He said that these latter were illegally hunting the wild Falcon and the Bustard, within protected areas of El Bayedh, Laghouat, Béchar, Adrar and Tindouf.

In 2016, he added, more than 96 court cases related to illicit hunting have been transferred to justice by the National Gendarmerie units engaged in the protection of the environment. This led to the arrest of 163 people.

An Algerian Goldfinch story

Read more on special article “Algeria: Princes and poachers, Saudis hunting bustards