Welcome to the International Association for Falconry
Our organization is dedicated to the preservation of the ancient art of falconry, a hunting tradition defined as 'taking quarry in its natural state and habitat by means of trained birds of prey'. Preserving falconry involves maintaining not only the traditional culture that builds practical skills of empathy with animals, but also the conservation of raptors and their prey through preservation of natural habitats. We therefore encourage falconry within the context of sustainable use of wildlife.
We also promote ecological studies and veterinary research on birds of prey and, where appropriate, domestic breeding of raptors for falconry, including such species as Peregrine falcons, Goshawks, Saker and Gyr falcons and all other species of raptors in whatever part of the world they may be used for falconry and hunting.
In our site, you will find pages on the history of falconry and its role in conservation, its contribution to culture as well as details of how modern falconry is practised. You can visit our extensive Global Membership list, and read about our worldwide activities in the IAF Newsletter.
IAF is an accredited NGO providing advisory services to UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Committee (NGO-90006) and an accredited member of IUCN International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Membership and Subscription
If you would like to support IAF as an individual subscriber then please click here.
46th IAF Council of Delegates
The 46th IAF Council of Delegates Meetin will be help in America Latina Posadas, Misiones, ARGENTINA from 6th to 10th August 2015 with the support of the Güira Óga Association, the Brazilian Association for Falconers and Preservation of Birds of Prey (ABFPAR) and of the Ministery of Ecology, Renewable Resources and Tourism of the Province of Missiones. It possible to find all information about the IAF AGM agenda, hunting and tourist options, transportations and accomodations clicking HERE.
World Falconry Day 2014
World Falconry Day: ideas and proposals are invited for this year's World Falconry Day. The success of last year's WFD had resounding impact for falconers all over the world.
Algannas Qatar is proud to announce the completion of its first Veterinarian Training Program
Two vets have successfully finished their time in Doha: Levani Doborjginidze from Georgia and Alexander Lim from Kazakhstan .
This project has arisen from needs identified at the 2014 Doha Veterinary Conference, partnered by Algannas, Katara, Souk Waqif Falcon Hospital and IAF. It's aim is to improve knowledge and skills in raptor medicine among young vets hoping to specialize in this discipline.
School Links Program. Annual Newsletter
The School Links Programme (SLP) was established as part of the Mongolian Artificial Nest Project to teach local children why five thousand artificial nests were erected on the Mongolian Steppe in 2010.
Falconry from Brazil:
The North East Falconry Association Conservation of Birds of Prey launched the First Brazilian Book of Falconry, titled "The Art of Falconry". The book was written by the directors of the Association, including Dorival Lima, Alessandra Oliveto, Eduardson Elias, Duílio Lobo and Roberto Citelli. They are hoping this book will be a milestone in the evolution of Brazilian Falconry. The book has 208 pages, illustrated and colorful. It also has a rich purport, going through the history of the Falconry around the world, nutrition, biology, laws related to the subject and the basic training in taming free flight.
For more information contact: Diretoria ANF [firstname.lastname@example.org].
Falconers and hunters work for biodiversity towards the conservation of farmland birds
Diversity of life is the basis of humane living. The speed that species are becoming extinct or disappearing from their original habitats is accelerating. Falconers and hunters do not ignore the circumstances that are causing this. Falconry is hunting game in its natural habitat with a trained bird of prey; without game there is no falconry.
There are fewer and fewer areas in Europe for hunting species like the grey partridge, found in huge numbers across central Europe up until the 1970s. In parts of Europe the partridge has become totally extinct. Not only game species are affected, farmland birds like larks, buntings, lapwings, curlew, even sparrows are declining at alarming rates. The reasons for the decreases are well known and have been sufficiently studied: fast changing agricultural methods, loss of different elements of the original countryside, raising mono-cultures, harvesting crops during the night and in early spring and the use of synthetic pesticides. The absence of insects that these have caused makes the survival of species farmland birds, like partridge, lark and lapwing, nearly impossible.
Falconers and hunters are aware of the situation and great efforts are being made by them in areas where falconry and hunting is practiced to encourage the biodiversity necessary to encourage all these birds. We know that only modern, efficient farming can secure the food needs of the world’s constantly rising population and we express solidarity with the targets of modern farming, but an effective and sustainable way of farming has to include the protection of water, soil and climate, as well as the species that depend on this sustainability. This protection represents an extraordinary economic value, the CAP including GREENING must provide for those targets. There is hope for these farmland species if GREENING is implemented in a success-oriented way. Unfortunately we are seeing insufficient implementation in many parts of the EU. Falconers and hunters admit their responsibility for the environment on United Nations International Day for Biological Diversity - 22 May, when the International Association for Falconry and Conservation of Birds of Prey, acting on an initiative of the DFO, (German Falconers Association) has established a working group for European Biodiversity consisting of falconers and hunters with scientific and practical background to raise awareness and to seek solutions.
You can find more about International Day for Biological Diversity - 22 May and on the Conference on Biodiversity (CBD) at https://www.cbd.int/idb/
Detailed information on the Greening of Europe is on the European Environment Agency’s website
An IUCN report on how commercial agriculture and forestry could have positive impact on biodiversity
Order last IAF Journal
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To always be updated about IAF activities, news and projects, please inscribe to our Newletter.
IAF sends eBulletins automatically to its National Delegates and member organization personnel who request them. They may also be emailed to government and non-government bodies again at the request of the recipient. If you would like to receive them please contact us They are only sent when there is an item of news, not at a set time interval.
Recent & Next IAF Events
26th International Ornithological CongressTokyo, Japan
61st CIC General AssemblyMilan, Italy
Celebrating 50 years of The IUCN Red List
The IUCN Red List is the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global conservation status of wild species and their links to livelihoods. Far more than a list of species and their status, it is a powerful tool to inform and catalyse action for biodiversity conservation, critical to protecting the natural resources we need to survive.
IAF has been part of raptor conservation projects since its foundation in 1968 and has been a member of IUCN since 1996. As falconers we are all interested in conservation of the hawks and falcons we use and the quarry species we hunt; it important for us to be aware of the information provided here
Visit IUCN's 50th anniversary website 50.iucnredlist.org to find out more about The IUCN Red List and how you can help make it become a more complete 'Barometer of Life'
New items in IAF Webstore
High quality hand made silk tie with designs by Hoynck van Papendrecht (19th century) – falcon, goshawk, hood and lure.
Falconers launch anti wildlife-crime initiative
Each Spring, chicks in Sicilian nests of the Bonelli's eagle become subject to robbery by criminals again. The Bonelli’s eagle is endangered in Europe and one of the most important strongholds is in Sicily with some 39 active nests. Illegal wildlife traffickers and poaching gangs put the survival of this species at risk for mere economic gain, selling to unscrupulous animal collectors and wreaking irreparable damage on the species. The Italian Wildlife Authorities are hard pressed to keep up the 24 hour surveillance necessary during the nesting period and rely on a network of volunteers to do this. This illegal traffic in the Bonelli’s eagle, starting in Italy, involves countries beyond the Alps where accomplices or instigators of the thefts are believed to launder the birds and provide prospective buyers with fake CITES documents, making legitimate falconers and others unaware of the illegal origin of the bird they are buying.
Genuine falconers have nothing to do with the illegal trade and are ready to engage in operations to support, monitor and combat such unlawful and unacceptable crimes. The International Association for Falconry and Conservation of Birds of Prey has been in dialogue with the authorities and with other conservation groups since 2013 and proposes that, alongside strict monitoring, locally, nationally and internationally, we need to identify the traffickers and the recipients of these protected species. This will require effective collaboration between falconers, conservation volunteers and the public authorities responsible for the wildlife. Every national falconry club in Europe already subscribes to IAF’s codes of ethics and conduct. The IAF is working on plans to create a Breeders Register where bona fide breeders of raptors and particularly the species most at risk, such as the Bonelli’s eagle, may register data on their breeding pairs, ring number or chip identification and CITES documents. In the case of species subject to wildlife crime, such as the Bonelli’s Eagle, breeders will be requested to provide genetic material (a feather) for secure banking by IAF to be held in case of a future need for a DNA test comparison. DNA analysis is now simple and inexpensive and is widely used as a tool for combating wildlife crime, for example to determine the parentage individual animals whose origins are in question. Falconers will be encouraged to buy their birds from genuine breeders who are registered in this way.
No time must be lost, the population of the Bonelli’s Eagle is so fragile. The same attention must also be given to the last Egyptian vultures in Sicily and the most important European population of the lanner falcon. We need a determination to defend the nests of the Bonelli’s eagle and the other protected species and to stamp out this illegal trafficking permanently. It is a disgrace to the good name of legitimate falconers. Genuine falconers are ready for active cooperation in the field.
The International Association for Falconry and Conservation of Birds of Prey commends plans in the European Commission DG Environment for an Action Plan on Illegal Wildlife Trade.
For information on Bonelli’s eagle populations please, visit this link
The European Action Plan for the Bonelli’s eagle could be found here.
The Sicilian site for the Corpo Forestale del Statto is here.
The WWF Action Plan for Illegal Combatting Wildlife trade could be found here.
A shocking fate for thousands of endangered falcons
Tens of thousands of birds of prey are electrocuted at power lines worldwide every year. The situation is especially bad in Central Asia where an estimated 4000 globally endangered Saker Falcons are killed each year along with thousands of other birds of prey including eagles. The Saker Falcon is the focus of an extensive programme to provide artificial nesting sites, producing over 2500 young falcons last year, but the number of young produced in this conservation project is dwarfed by those electrocuted when they perch on poorly designed power poles.
The Saker is the only falcon species to be classified as Globally Endangered and is the subject of a Global Action Plan developed under the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS). Electrocution of Saker falcons is becoming recognized as the most significant cause of population decline. The Saker’s range extends well into Southern Europe, through Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Austria where, despite strict regulations, is some places poor electrical transmission infrastructure still exists resulting in accidental electrocutions on powerlines.
The situation becomes much worse in Asia. A study, funded by the Environmental Agency of Abu Dhabi conducted with the Eastern Energy System power company in Mongolia demonstrated the electrocution of 55 Saker falcons per 10 kilometres of power-line per year on a test section. Electrocution rates can be significantly reduced at a cost of less than €18 per power pole.
In Hungary, projects to make powerlines safe have been particularly successful, but these must be extended. Even more importantly, new transmission lines and the renovation of old lines must incorporate simple measures to make these lines safe for large perching birds. The IAF is raising awareness of the disastrous levels of electrocutions and encouraging investors (both private and public) in electrical grids to insist on bird-friendly pole installations.
Background information on electrocution of birds of prey in Asia can be found here.
Background information on electrocution of birds of prey in a document on protecting birds from power lines adopted by the Conseil de l'Europe, may be found here. Action Points Listed In the Budapest Declaration on Bird Protection and Power Lines may be found here.