The Resurgence Of Falconry

Photographs By Brent Stirton

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The millennia-old practice of falconry is experiencing an international resurgence, especially as a result of efforts in the Arab world. Falcons bred in captivity have helped diminish the trade in captured wild birds, including some species that are listed as endangered.

The Arab world has been at the forefront of restoring falcon populations. Here, falconry is seen as a link back to the ancient culture of the Bedouin and is the sport of choice for many. Meanwhile, in Mongolia, the use of artificial nesting sites is a well-established technique used by conservationists to monitor, manage and aid the Saker falcon population, who do not build their own nests. The falcons are harvested for the international falconry trade, managed by a government quota and face the serious threat of electrocution from power lines. The aim of the conservationists is to support a sustainable falconry harvest whilst stabilizing the declining population.