Dr Stefan Ferger

Dr. Stefan Ferger

Advisory Board Member
Project Manager – EuroNatur Foundation

Stefan is a project manager at EuroNatur Foundation, Germany. Joining the organization in 2015, he took over the planning and management of bird conservation projects. While the concrete conservation actions on the ground are mainly implemented by national and local EuroNatur partners, Stefan is mainly involved in the overall project management, as well as international advocacy and communication actions, often in close collaboration with other international organizations.

Since 2017, Stefan has focused on tackling the illegal killing, trapping, taking and trade of wild birds (IKB) along the Adriatic Flyway in the Western Balkans in the context of the “Safe flyways”-project, which tackles IKB at a wider Mediterranean scale. The project is implemented by BirdLife, the Vulture Conservation Foundation, Tour du Valat and EuroNatur, as well as ten national partner organizations, aiming to support the ambitious goal of the Bern and Bonn Convention’s joint “Rome Strategic Plan” to reduce IKB in the Med by 50 % until 2030.

Stefan graduated at the University of Mainz with a diploma thesis on the ecology of forest and farmland birds in Kakamega Forest, Kenya. He holds a PhD from the University of Frankfurt, for which he studied the biodiversity and ecosystem functions of bird communities along land-use and elevation gradients at Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.

What’s drawn you to the project and why do you think our research matters?

In order to curb the massive slaughter of migratory birds in the Mediterranean, the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) has convened the Intergovernmental Task Force on Illegal Killing, Taking and Trade of Migratory Birds in the Mediterranean (MIKT) in 2016. Having identified the need for stricter penalties, increased surveillance and improved law enforcement, the parties of the MIKT joined forces with the Bern Convention and committed to a zero tolerance approach on IKB. Despite these advances on the policy level, the actual knowledge on the scope and scale of IKB, as well as its socio-economic drivers, remains scarce. Accordingly, the role of green-collared crime for driving illegal wildlife trade (IWT) has not been taken into account within the current policies on IKB – and the Beastly Business-project has the potential to fill this gap by systematically mapping the drivers of IWT, generating exciting new empirical data and provide concrete advice to policy makers.