In the ongoing battle against illegal wildlife trade and the threat posed to endangered species, the Egyptian Ministry of Environment’s dedicated hotline has emerged as a vital resource, saving numerous at-risk animals.
In response to the escalating illegal sale of endangered animals and birds, the Ministry of Environment established a hotline in 2022, encouraging individuals to report illicit activities, especially concerning rare wildlife. So far, the hotline has rescued the lives of countless animals.
Under the slogan “Be Positive to Protect Wildlife,” the hotline has spurred swift action by the Biodiversity Management, ensuring the rescue and release of animals back into their natural habitats to restore ecological balance.
A recent incident on 5 December saw the Environmental Affairs Agency in Alexandria respond to reports of endangered falcons’ sale near the Greek Club, close to the Qaytbay Citadel.
A prompt and collaborative response was initiated, involving the Natural Reserves Sector of the Ministry of Environment, the regional branch of the Environmental Affairs Agency in Alexandria, and the Environmental and Water Police. Upon inspection, it was confirmed that the two falcons belonged to a species listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) agreement.
Another significant operation in Port Said on 27 November, led by the Ministry of Environment and the Border Guard aimed to combat the illegal trade of wild animals and birds. Border Guard forces intercepted 60 flamingos in a vehicle at the entrance of the Port Said tunnel.
The Ashtoum El Gameel Reserve facilitated their reception and release into the largest congregation of flamingos in Port Said. Legal actions are underway to address this incident.
Port Said Governorate and the Ashtoum El Gameel Reserve play a crucial role in the migratory routes of various bird species, particularly flamingos. Flamingos, in particular, migrate through and inhabit these areas, emphasizing the significance of preserving their habitats.
The sale, trade, or possession of these birds violate international agreements and Article 28 of the Environmental Law, prohibiting such activities without proper licensing.
Individuals can report such incidents through the official hotline 19808 or via WhatsApp at 01222693333. A central operations room operates daily to promptly address received complaints.