The dire economic situation is turning many people to illegal bird poaching according to the Cyprus Game and Fauna Service.
The increase in trapping comes just months after a team of international bird conservationists expressed serious concern at the extent of illegal killing of migratory birds in south Cyprus.
“We’re concerned that in light of the economic crisis, there are signs of increased poaching and illegal trapping of ambelopoulia*,” Cyprus Game and Fauna Service Director Pantelis Hadjiyerou said.
In their most recent report published last year, the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) and Friends of the Earth (FoE) Cyprus states that in just over one week of their monitoring, two CABS teams located 3,817 limesticks, 23 mist nets and 32 electronic decoys in the main Trapping hotspot in the Famagusta District.
The report adds that this contrasts sharply with the comparatively weak efforts of the law enforcement agencies in this critical area, where the pressure on migratory birds through illegal trapping is at its greatest.The increase in trapping comes just months after a team of international bird conservationists expressed serious concern at the extent of illegal killing of migratory birds in the south.
*Ambelopoulia is a controversial dish of grilled, pickled or boiled songbirds which is a traditional dish enjoyed by native Cypriots and served in some Cypriot restaurants. It is illegal in Cyprus as it involves trapping wild birds such as Blackcaps and European Robins. Trapping birds indiscriminately, also kills internationally protected species of migratory birds. Enforcement of the ban has been lax, so many restaurants serve the dish without consequence.