Friends Of The Earth Cyprus’ Campaign Against Illegal Bird Trapping And Killing
Cyprus is one of the main migratory routes that birds use every year for their migration towards Europe/Asia (in spring) and Africa (in the winter). Millions of birds (more than 200 million during spring, more than 350 species) use the island every year for this purpose. But a large number of those birds cannot complete its journey as it is illegally trapped and killed in Cyprus!
Illegal bird trapping and killing is a major ecological issue because:
- it is a mass scale activity (more than 2 million birds are slaughtered each year)
- it is a non-selective method that threatens biodiversity (apart from the main target species, it affects another 12 bird species, and half of those species are in decline in local, European or International level)
- it is an industrial-scale illegal activity (that is worth some 15 million euro per year according to Cyprus Game and Fauna Service)
- it violates the environmental rights of all citizens (as a few people exploit our natural wealth and heritage for their own economic profit)
- it causes a bad image for Cyprus and negatively affects the Cypriot tourism sector (according to the Cyprus Conservation Foundation, Cyprus may be losing between €40-100 million as unrealized income from overseas’ due to this illegal activity)
The aim of this campaign is to combat bird trapping, with zero tolerance against this illegal activity!
Friends of the Earth Cyprus were founded in the 1980s in Maroni village (one of the main trapping hotspots of the island), with one of its main targets to combat bird trapping.
Since then they have been campaigning regularly on this issue, with big successes like banning spring hunting in the island (birds nesting period) and reducing bird trapping activity during Cyprus integration period to the EU.
Unfortunately, in recent years, bird trapping has arisen to alarming levels, and thus threatening Cypriot and European biodiversity. In 2010, after the profound violation of environmental and social rights, with the violent attacks against activists of the organization Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS), Friends of the Earth Cyprus took again action in the field.
Since March 2016, Friends of the Earth Cyprus in cooperation with Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) and Foundation Pro Biodiversity (SPA) are implementing the common campaign “STOP bird slaughter” against illegal bird trapping in Cyprus.