Police in Russia's Siberia region have detained nine Syrians on charges of poaching rare Saker falcons, the interior ministry said.
The nine men were detained Wednesday in the western Siberian region of Khakasia.
Police seized 67 pigeons, used as a lure for falcons, 114 snare traps and five falconry hoods from the men.
The Saker falcon is listed as an endangered species by BirdLife International, an international umbrella organisation for bird protection societies, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.
In line with Russian laws, poaching the Saker falcon is punishable by a fine of up to 2,000 rubles ($60).
Every year, thousands of falcons are caught and sold illegally in the black market, particularly in Arab countries where the price of one such bird ranges from $3,000 to $30,000.