Egypt’s wildlife populations are being decimated by hunting.  All species of wild animal in Egypt are caught, killed and trapped, including globally threatened species.   The hunting is very inhumane.  Many animals in the wild are injured and maimed and eventually die.  Animals caught alive are badly treated and kept in horrible conditions.  Egypt lacks a national hunting management system unlike other countries.  The protection and sustainable use of wildlife is mandated under the international conventions that Egypt has signed including CBD (Conventions of Biological Diversity), CITES,  CMS (Convention of Migratory Species)  and AEWA (African Water Association).  Unless greater efforts are taken to regulate hunting and protect important habitats much of Egypt’s wildlife will disappear in the next twenty years!   


There are many different kinds of hunting taking place in Egypt:




Autumn Bird Catching


Hunting of Quail and other migratory birds takes place in the autumn along Egypt’s Mediterranean coast from Sallum to Rafa as well as in the Western Desert Oases.  Birds are hunted with nets, traps, lime and air rifles. 100,000’s to over a million birds are caught for food and sport every year.


Winter Waterbird Hunting


The hunting of waterbirds takes place in the winter in the Delta Lakes.  10,000’s of waterbirds of all species are caught and sold for food.




In desert areas around Egypt there continues to be hunting of mammals by Bedouins for food; this includes ibex, gazelles and Barbary Sheep.




Egyptian Sport Hunters


There are relatively small numbers of Egyptian sports hunters.  Most belong to clubs and hunt game birds such as ducks, doves and quail.  However, other birds and animals are known to be killed, such as gazelles and other large mammals.


Sport Hunting for Tourism


Foreign tourists come to Egypt on hunting and fishing tours.   El Fayoum and Lake Nasser are two known destinations.   While waterbirds are the main quarries, all kinds of birds are hunted.  Maltese are among the most destructive hunters exporting skins home for their taxidermy collections.  An American company was recently advertising Barbary Sheep hunting Egypt.


Arab Hunters


Hunters from Arabian countries come to Egypt to hunt Houbaras, gazelles and other wild animals. 




Trade in Wildlife for Pets, Zoos and Private Collections


All species of wild animal are caught to be sold for the pet trade as well as for zoos and private collections in Egypt and for export abroad.   This includes reptiles as well as Red Sea fish and corals for the aquarium trade.  Abu Rawish is one of the centers of this trade.  It is thought that 1000’s to 10,000’s of animals are caught  every year.   Many die while in captivity and transport due to the poor conditions.


Falcon Trapping


In the autumn Peregrine and Sakar Falcons are hunted in deserts around Egypt to be sold for falconry in Arabian countries.   100’s to 1000’s of other falcons and birds of prey are trapped and used as decoys.   The decoy falcons have their eyes sewn up and are often not well cared for.




Fishing represents an important source of food and livelihood for Egypt.  Fishing takes place in the Nile River, lakes and marine environments.   It is thought that non-target animals such as birds, dolphins and sea turtles could also be trapped. 




Killing of Wildlife as Pests


Birds and other wild animals also being killed as pests.  This type of hunting is often non-specific using poison bate and traps where all species of animals even domestic

animals are killed.


Traditional Medicine


Sea turtles and other wildlife are still caught for use in traditional medicine.


Prepared by: 


Mindy Roennational expert on hunting management and legislation