Spring trapping in Cyprus on the raise again

Spring trapping in Cyprus on the raise again

Press Release – 21st July 2016

Spring trapping in Cyprus on the raise again

1828 limesticks, 50 mist nets and 13 electronic bird callers located in 6 weeks of field investigations by CABS and SPA.

In April and May 2016 the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) and the Foundation Pro Biodiversity (SPA – Stiftung Pro Artenvielfalt) conducted their 9th Spring Bird Protection Camp (BPC) in Cyprus. The Camp started on the 3rd of April and ended on the 15th of May.

Overall, 1828 limesticks, 50 mist nets and 13 electronic bird callers were located during the Camp in 111 different trapping sites, while 13 poachers were caught and prosecuted for trapping. 1401 illegally caught birds, belonging to 26 different species, were found in traps or in the possession of poachers. These numbers demonstrate that spring trapping is still very common in Cyprus and show a worrying increase after 4 years of decrease.

This increase reflects the lack of political will to deal with bird trapping and is the direct consequence of the reduced presence of law enforcement agencies on the ground during this spring.

“After a low start that gave room for hope, the spring trapping season 2016 turned into a bad season for migrating birds. Almost a third of all checked trapping sites (28,1 %) were found active. This is 7.6% more compared to the previous season”, states Axel Hirschfeld, CABS press officer.

“Most of trapping in spring is concentrated in Famagusta District. Under the name of tradition trappers are slaughtering thousands of birds during the spring migration, when those birds which have survived the winter, are coming back to Europe to breed”.

The destructive nature of this illegal practice is evident by the numbers: One poacher, caught trapping with limesticks, held in possession of more than 800 dead birds, while on another case, a total of 35 nets were found in the possession of a single poacher.

“This is trade and has nothing to do with tradition. Cyprus has signed the Bonn Convention, which states that wildlife crimes fund organized criminal and violent groups, a statement that suits Cyprus case perfectly” said Hirschfeld.

CABS and SPA call upon the Cyprus Republic authorities and the SBA Administration to strongly increase their engagement against bird trapping and prevent the massive bird slaughter during the upcoming Autumn Season, which is a main season for illegal bird trapping.

The full report for CABS and SPA 9th Spring Bird Protection Camp can be found at http://www.komitee.de/en/documents-and-downloads