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International Convention for the Protection of Birds

Document type
Field of application
Oct 18, 1950
IUCN (ID: TRE-000066)
Title (French)

Convention internationale pour la protection des oiseaux

Title (Other)

Internationale Übereinkunft zum Schutz der Vögel

Place of adoption
Entry into force
Jan 17, 1963
Waste & hazardous substances, Wild species & ecosystems
Wildlife products Birds Protection of habitats Stock enhancement/repopulation Protected area Endangered species Hunting gear/hunting methods Protected animal species Hunting/capture Management/conservation Migratory species
Geographical area
Europe, Arctic

Objectives: To protect birds in their wild state, considering that in the interests of science, the protection of nature and the economy of each nation, all birds should as a matter of principle be protected.

Summary of provisions: In general, protection is to be given to all birds during the breeding season, to migrants during their flight to their breeding grounds, and to endangered species throughout the year (art. 2). In general, the taking of eggs, shells and young birds is to be prohibited (art. 4). Certain methods of hunting birds are to be prohibited or restricted, e.g. snares, nets, poisoned bait, blinded decoy birds, motor boats and motor vehicles (art. 5). A species found to be a pest in a region may be excepted from protection (art. 6). Exceptions may also be made in the interests of science and education (art. 7). Each party undertakes to draw up lists of birds that may be lawfully taken or killed in compliance with this Convention (art. 8). Parties agree to take measures to prevent destruction of birds by water pollution, electric cables, insecticides and poisons, and to educate children and the public in the need for protection of birds (art. 10). Parties are to establish reserves for breeding birds (art. 11).

(Source: IUCN ELC, 08.2005, based on UNEP Register of International Treaties and Other Agreements in the Field of the Environment, 1996)


Not confined to migratory species of birds, although these are the subject of special mention in the preamble and substantive part. Provides for the protection of migratory birds during their return flight to their nesting grounds, particularly between months of March and July. Birds in danger of extinction or of scientific interest protected throughout the year. Provides in general for prohibition of export, import, trade in or possession of birds (dead or alive); of destruction of nests; of export, import, trade in or possession of eggs and nestlings (with some exceptions). Prohibits some methods of taking (where this is permitted). Provides for exceptions in order to protect agriculture or species whose 'conservation is desirable', but such taking to be by individual permits and complete extirpation of species not permitted. Further exceptions for purposes of science and education, game and falconery. Provides that States parties may prepare lists of birds which may be lawfully killed or kept in captivity in that State. Refers to measures to protect destruction of birds by hydrocarbons, water pollution, pesticides and poisons, lighthouses, electrical cables, etc. Refers to the need to educate children and others about the need to protect birds. Requires the creation of reserves of sufficient size and location to enable migratory species to rest and feed.

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Luxembourg -
Serbia -

* [1] Ratification [2] Accession/approbation [3] Acceptance/approval [4] Succession [5] Consent to be bound [6] Definite signature

Other references

4 records related to this treaty. View literature