The Romanian Minister of Environment, Tanczos Barna, recently made a controversial decision. He considered that the population of wood grouses (Western Capercallies) in the country had grown big enough to allow the hunting of the species again. Hence, he lifted the ban imposed more than ten years ago.
In 2011, the hunting of wood grouses was forbidden. The species was considered endangered after years of hunting, and the ban on hunting these spectacular birds allowed the population to grow again. But the very Minister of Environment considered it had grown too large in number and signed a decision to allow hunting again.
The NGOs disagreed, though, and addressed the Romanian court. The decision came very quickly: the order given by the minister was suspended; thus, the species is now protected, and hunting is banned.
It’s not a final decision, though, but it’s a big step to stop what would’ve been a hunting spree. The order mentioned that 239 wood grouses could be hunted. Interestingly enough, the county where the Minister lives, Harghita, received the most significant quota in the country.
Tanczos Barna is famous for supporting bear hunting. In his opinion, the bear population in Romania has grown too big, but again, the environmentalists contradict the official figures.
Romanians started to care about the environment. After years of illegal logging and hunting sprees destroyed flora and fauna in the country, the people started fighting against those who broke the law. Smartphone apps have been designed to help Romanians report any illegal activity they notice, such as trucks carrying logs, and the police are notified and take appropriate action.
This is why decisions, such as those recently taken by the Minister of Environment, are not well received by the locals. Romania has started to understand that its inheritance, the secular forests and the diverse flora and fauna, are meant to be protected for future generations and foreign tourists to continue to enjoy nature in the country.
People like Charlie Ottley, the British producer now living in Romania, immensely helped. Charlie produced quite a few documentaries on Romania. Wild Carpathia, featuring King Charles III, who owns properties in Transylvania, Flavors of Romania, where he wonders the country to show each region, and Wild Danube, a documentary dedicated to this exceptional area. Maybe, at least from time to time, Romanians have to learn that the experience of Western environmentalists is needed when it comes to protecting the environment.