Over two million birds may have been killed across the whole island in Autumn 2015, A BirdLife report has said.
The survey says that last Autumn, 19km of netting were used and over 5,300 limesticks had been confiscated by enforcement agencies in areas between Larnaca and Famagusta, Ayios Theodoros and Maroni.
However mist net trapping had decreased last year by 13% compared to 2002 – “a positive outcome comparing to the record breaking levels recorded in autumn 2014”, the report said.
Dr Clairie Papazoglou, Executive Director of BirdLife Cyprus, stated: “The European Commission has already asked a number of times for the removal of the ‘alternative plan’ from the Strategic Action Plan. The Minister of Interior committed himself in the Parliament to respect the decision of the European Commission.”
The alternative plan was to allow selective hunting of blackcaps by derogation.
“The Republic of Cyprus must finally withdraw the ‘alternative plan’ and implement the rest of the Strategic Action Plan immediately”. The results from autumn 2015 show that the annual increases of the last five years in the levels of illegal bird trapping in the SBAs have been stopped.
The British Sovereign Bases said they were pleased that the BirdLife report recognised efforts to tackle illegal bird trapping the bases.
“We are committed to build on this result which has stopped the increasing trend of recent years. We will continue to work with the RSPB and Bird Life to achieve further reduction in bird trapping.”
Since November 2014, around 54 acres of acacia used for trapping have been removed and 3,490 items of netting equipment were seized in the last migration period, the bases said.
“In the last five years, over 200 poachers have been arrested.”
According to a BirdLife report published in August 2015, 25 million birds are killed illegally in the Mediterranean every year.