After decades of winter waterfowl hunting at Ormož Lake the guns were silent in the seasons 2014/15 and 2015/16. Will this period of peace hold out in winter 2016/17?
In the past winter waterfowl hunt was something of tradition. It was carried out from Slovenian, but mostly from Croatian side of the lake. In 2012 DOPPS-BirdLife Slovenia reported illegal hunting at Ormož Lake. In 2014 resulting from our report, the hunting family Zelendvor was fined 15.000 Kn and the hunter 5.000 Kn by Čakovec court.
Our collagues at BIOM (BirdLife partner in Croatia) reported illegal hunting activities at Ormož Lake to all responsible institutions in 2014. Nature protection inspection reaction was swift and HEP (Croatian National Energy Company) removed all illegal hunting hides from the lake in the fall of the same year. In comming winters there was no hunting on the lake and it seemed like it was abolished forever.
A week ago a suprise awaited our ornithologist on the field. Between 12th and 13th of December 2016 new hunting hide was erected on the Croatian side of the Ormož Lake, just a few meters from the embankment. BIOM again reacted immediately and hunting hide was removed by HEP on 16th of December 2016. Safe and undisturbed wintering for water birds was again established thanks to immediate reaction of all involved.
We will continue to closely monitor for any hunting activities on the lake and in case of any, react appropriately.