CMS #CoP12; World Falconry Day; Roger Upton; British Archives; Ethnosports; Raffle winners
Keep Calm and Carrion

IAF eBulletin November 2017

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Keiya Nakajima, IAF Vice-president for Asia, writes:

The Twelfth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS COP12) was held in Manila, the Philippines, from 23 to 28 October 2017 – the first to be held in Asia.

The slogan for COP12 was ‘Their Future is Our Future – Sustainable Development for Wildlife & People’, which is linked to the Sustainable Development Goals agreed by the world’s governments in 2015 to end poverty and hunger, improve health and education, combat climate change and protect oceans and forests. There were about 1400 participants from 121 countries.

On 26 October, the IAF held a side event on the conservation of the saker falcon. Nick Williams (Head of the Coordinating Unit, CMS Raptors MoU), myself, Sarangerel Ichinkhorloo (Manager in Mongolia, IAF School Links Programme) and Kamran Khan Yousafzai (IAF Officer for South Asia) gave presentations outlining the Saker Global Action Plan, the contribution of falconers to saker conservation, the School Links Programme, and community based conservation projects in Pakistan.

Attendees included at least 46 persons from governments, various organizations and groups such as the Energy Task Force in CMS. It was a good opportunity to spread awareness of our involvement in conservation activities.

The IAF also had an exhibition stand at the Conference. Flyers on saker conservation, the School Links Programme and avian electrocution were distributed to visitors and VIPs.

The extended online edition of Tracks, the 'in-flight' magazine of the CMS CoP, carries a full-page ad from the IAF, drawing attention to the issue of bird electrocution in the context of saker conservation, and highlighting the role that falconers are playing in pushing forward the Saker Global Action Plan.

At the Conference, the IAF applied to become a partner of CMS with a formal partnership agreement. An official letter from President Adrian Lombard was sent to Mr. Bradnee Chambers (Executive Secretary of the CMS) to introduce the IAF and our contribution to the conservation of birds of prey. As an official partner of CMS, the IAF would have the right to provide comment and statements at general meetings. It would be a significant position, allowing us to send the falconer's voice directly to all CMS delegates.

World Falconry Day 2017

Dr. Javier Ceballos, Coordinator of World Falconry Day, writes:

Thank you to everybody who made this year’s World Falconry Day (WFD) celebrations – on and around 16 November – a success. The slogan ‘Learning and teaching: Passing on our cultural heritage’ was taken up by falconers and organizations from all around the world.

Those who contacted us at were able to use the IAF logo in their announcements, but many other spontaneous initiatives added on social networks were happy simply to use the WFD logo. My thanks to Andrea Villa for his management of the WFD page on Facebook.

Celebrations were varied, both in content and in place.

The Paraguayan Association of Falconry and Raptor Conservation gave talks for families at the zoo in the capital, Asunción. The Salvadoran Corinto Club invited the public to a meeting with a display of birds, interactive games, and birdwatching.

Members of the Colorado Hawking Club, USA, celebrated on the Saturday beforehand, greeting the public with their birds at two outdoor stores in Denver. Anne Price said, “One of our members, Rylan Stone (17) will also be departing soon for Abu Dhabi to attend the International Festival of Falconry. We send greetings and good wishes to all of our brother and sister falconers around the world!”

The Portuguese Falconry Association (APF) and the Royal Falconry of Salvaterra de Magos presented primary school children with an illustrated book on the history of falconry in Portugal. On the same date, ArtFalco - Ambassadors of Nature, with the support of the APF, held an exhibition at Pousada de Vila Viçosa, aimed at celebrating and raising awareness of Portuguese falconry as intangible heritage.

In Spain, Gentilis Naturaleza held an introductory course in falconry in Fuensanta, Albacete; Centro de Falconry Campeza organized another falconry course in Madrid. The fifth edition of CIGRE, the International Competition of Great Raptors, was held in Corral de Almaguer, Toledo. Falconers from across Europe, and as far as Mexico, shared hunting days in a fraternal environment.

Avium Nature and Training marked WFD by launching the English version of the "Basic and Ethical Falconry Manual". The full PDF is available free at; printed copies – 328 pages, full colour – can be ordered from (€30).

Other initiatives saw the opening of falconry exhibitions. In Poland, ‘Falconry, a Living Tradition’ was opened at the Hunting and Horsemanship Museum in Warsaw. In the UK, the British Archives of Falconry celebrated the opening of their new building – read the full story below.

Among the activities with the most media coverage, the Czech Republic stands out. Czech national radio made a live broadcast (from 22m, in Czech) and several major newspapers wrote about it. Read Bohumil Straka's report on facebook.

The Raptor Club of Egypt, with the coordination of Mohamed Mamdouh, also organized activities to enhance the heritage of falconry.

In the United Arab Emirates there was a workshop entitled "Learning traditional Arabian falconry – World Falconry Day 2017" at Mohamed bin Zayed Falconry & Desert Physiognomy School, Abu Dhabi.

The Tugan Falconry Club in Uzbekistan organised an activity focused on the transmission of falconry from one generation to another. They made a visit to an orphanage in Tashkent and also gave a masterclass in falconry for children. As a second part of the event, they went with the children outdoors to show them how to fly and train birds in their natural habitat.

The Mongolian Bird Conservation Center celebrated WFD together with the Mongolia Falconry Association, Mongol Falconry Club, and students from Naran, Baigali Ekh Lycee, and Etugen secondary schools in Ulaanbaatar.

They made presentations on the importance of falconry, its history, and conservation. The falconers took their hawks and explained to the students how they hunt in the field and choose their quarry, etc.

There are still more activities in the WFD calendar, the most significant being next month’s International Festival of Falconry in Abu Dhabi.

Roger Upton MBE, 1937-2017

British falconer and falconry historian Roger Upton has died at the age of 80.

Described in online tributes as "a gentleman", "an icon", "an inspiration" and as “a bridge between the old tradition and modern hawking”, he touched many lives in the hawking fraternity. Writing on the British Falconers’ Club website, Nick Kester said of the former BFC president:

“Few have been so well-regarded in the falconry community the world over; his passion for our sport never abated, his knowledge was, to say the least, magisterial and was recorded in some of the best historical records ever written. He was a friend to many and a guiding light to us all. He will be much missed both here and in the Middle East where he had many, many falconry friends.”

A full tribute will appear in the next edition of the International Journal of Falconry.

Museum Opens at the British Archives of Falconry

Jevgeni Shergalin writes:

On 11 November the official opening ceremony of The British Archives of Falconry (BAF) took place in their new Archive Building.

More than 50 officials and falconers took part in the ceremony, including guests from the UAE (HE Majid al Mansouri), the USA (Lt Col Kent Carnie), Germany (Elizabeth and Klaus Leix) and the Netherlands (Dick ten Bosch). IAF CEO Gary Timbrell attended with his wife Sinead, representing the IAF and the Republic of Ireland.

Head of the British Archives of Falconry and IAF Advisory Committee member Mark Upton talked about the long journey of a group of British falconers volunteering to prepare, restore, renovate and transform an old barn building into the modern BAF Museum. Mark also introduced the other VIPs in attendance: Founder of the Archives of Falconry in Boise, and Patron of BAF, Kent Carnie; local Member of Parliament Robert Buckland; well-known British falconer John Loft; and Vice-President of the Deutsche Falkenorder (DFO) Elizabeth Leix.

After the official speeches, guests were invited into another renovated barn building (situated across a yard with chickens – real countryside!) for snacks and refreshments where all of them had a lucky opportunity to chat about (of course) falconry.

It was a great pity that the famous British falconer Roger Upton MBE had passed away just days before this ceremony. This museum should be named in his memory – so many physical artefacts in this museum were collected during his life through his love and enthusiasm.

Many thanks to everyone who made this event possible. It’s great that now a new falconry museum has been born, especially in a country with such a huge number of falconers – important cultural news for the heritage of our art and sport.

Visits to the museum are possible by appointment. Get in touch via the BAF website, or on Facebook.

You can watch videos of the speeches here and here.

World Ethnosports Confederation and the All Nomad Games

IAF President Adrian Lombard writes:

I was recently invited to Istanbul to attend a Workshop which addressed the future plans for the World Ethnosports movement. This was hosted by the World Ethnosports Confederation, whose President is Bilal Erdoğan, the son of the President of Turkey, and whose Vice-President is Askhat Akibaev – also President of the Nomad Games and past-Governor of Issyk-Kul Province in Kyrgyzstan. Mr Akibaev attended our AGM in Kyrgyzstan.

The concept of 'Ethnosports' is novel and it requires some consideration. This movement was born to represent the traditional sports of the Turkic peoples. These are popular and traditional sports which are not recognized by the mainstream sporting bodies such as the Olympic Games.

The communities from whence these sports originate and the practitioners of these sports feel that they are in danger of being marginalized and are seeking recognition as well as an outlet for these sports.

There is now a realization that communities all over the world share this issue; sports and activities that are traditionally enjoyed are being swamped by sports which have a global popularity such as soccer and conventional athletics as included in the Olympic Games. Hugely popular events have been held in Turkey and the All Nomad Games have been held twice in Kyrgyzstan. I was fortunate to attend the Nomad Games in 2016 and this was a very impressive event.

The workshop in Istanbul was intensive and addressed several issues including an effort to define Ethnosports, to establish who the audience for these is and how to promote and develop the sports.

The question must be: Is there a relevance for this to falconry and particularly to the IAF, as we are very clear that it is our mandate to represent falconry as a hunting art.

On reflection, I think that there are several good reasons why we should be involved and take this movement seriously:

1. While we are clear on our mandate and our constituency, we must take cognisance that many aspirant falconers are turning to competitions as an outlet where, for them, hunting is less accessible. These competitions can have an enormous influence on the perception of falconry by the general public as well as on a range of other areas such as breeding, legal and illegal trade, welfare and veterinary concerns, as well as technological developments. The practice and competence of anyone who uses falconry techniques must be of concern to us and we should seek to influence this for the better.

2. 'Falconry' is already included in the Ethnosports events and, specifically, at the Nomad Games. The events are fairly simple and include stooping a falcon to the lure and flying an eagle at a fox-skin dragged behind a galloping horse.

There is an opportunity to improve these events in ways that will increase focus on welfare and good husbandry as well as improving the skills of falconry practitioners. I think that this is particularly appropriate in Central Asia where we are aware that much of the practical hunting tradition of falconry has been lost along with the skills necessary for it.

Added to this, we need to try to remove the potential for significant negative publicity created by those who keep raptors for tourist displays and, similarly, events which use live quarry in competitions.

3. The promotion of the Ethnosports movement and the falconry included in it fits very well with our role as an Advisory NGO to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Convention. Several of the sports included in this movement are listed under the Convention, along with falconry, and these would include Turkish Oil Wrestling and various traditional forms of archery.

Several of the countries active in the Ethnosports Movement are also countries which have joined the UNESCO falconry submission, including Mongolia, Korea and Kazakhstan.

There are other countries where falconry is struggling to gain official acceptance such as Turkey and Russia. This movement provides us with an opportunity to raise the profile of falconry within these countries and this opportunity will develop as the number of countries joining this movement increases.

We will have representation of the World Ethnosports Confederation at the imminent 4th International Falconry Festival in Abu Dhabi and this will help us to gain a better understanding of this movement and how we can cooperate with it.

Adrian Lombard,
October 2017.

Individual Subscriber Prize Draw – Winners Announced!

In June we announced that a prize draw would be held as a thank-you to those who support the IAF as Individual Subscribers.

The prizes were: a commemorative medallion from the Belgian Falconry Federation, kindly donated by Luc Moyson of Studiegroep Behoud Valkerij; a pair of IAF-branded kevlar jesses produced by Premium Falcons; a set of two 50th anniversary Irish Hawking Club crystal tumblers, kindly donated by the Irish Hawking Club; and one Nick Stanton/Macropus hood, suitable for an average female gyrfalcon or female red-tailed hawk, kindly donated by the hoodmaker.

We can now announce that, a little later than planned, the draw has taken place, and the winners have been notified. They are:

Medallion – Ben Long, England
Jesses – K. B., Germany
Tumblers – Elisabeth Leix, Germany
Hood – Steve Heying, United States

You can become an IAF Individual Subscriber with a donation of €30 or more per year. Subscribers receive a copy of the International Journal of Falconry, can attend IAF meetings as observers, and may be invited to volunteer on IAF projects.

Become an Individual Subscriber

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International Association for Falconry and Conservation of Birds of Prey