WILDLIFE: Cyprus bird trapping hits record low says NGO

Mass killing of migratory birds on the Mediterranean island has reached a record low mainly due to a clampdown on illegal trappings in areas controlled by the British military, conservationist group Birdlife Cyprus said Monday.

The group said its 2018 autumn survey has shown a 90 per cent decrease in trapping levels with mist nets compared to 2002 when data collection began.

This positive all-time low is mainly due to the progress achieved within the Dhekelia British Sovereign Base Area over the last two years, one of the main trapping hotspots of the island, said Birdlife Cyprus in a statement.

Britain retained sovereignty over two military base areas when Cyprus gained independence in 1960 and has a police force in Dhekelia that tackles poachers.

Birdlife said its analysis shows a positive and continuing decrease in bird trapping levels in Cyprus but pointed to a worrisome discrepancy of trapping decreasing in UK military base areas against an increase in the Republic.

While the big picture is one of welcome success and relief for Europe’s migrant birds, the increase in killing with mist nets in the Republic recorded in autumn 2018 warns us to keep our feet on the ground, said Birdlife.

An estimated 335,000 birds were still trapped across Cyprus last autumn.

Birdlife Cyprus believes the positive results in the UK bases is down to a multipronged approach to addressing the problem within its jurisdiction.

By increasing police patrols, introducing deterrent sentencing for trappers, enabling covert surveillance work and continuing operations targeting trapping habitat, SBA police played a key role in the dramatic reduction of trapping levels, said Birdlife.

It acknowledges the efforts by Cypriots authorities in the Republic, including the issuing of deterrent on-the-spot fines, but said more needed to be done.

This year’s increase in trapping levels in the Republic not only strikes a cautionary note as regards to the dynamic nature of the trapping culture in Cyprus but also reminds us that the trapping problem is not yet solved, said Birdlife.

Bird trapping with mist nets and limesticks is a damaging and non-selective practice that affects over 150 species of birds, mostly migratory.

The main killing season is autumn when trappers are after protected Blackcaps to be sold as illegal but highly lucrative ambelopoulia ‘delicacies’.

Lack of enforcement against the illegal sale of trapped birds in restaurants and against big, organised trappers remain persistent problems, centred in the Republic, said director of Birdlife Cyprus Martin Hellicar.

Source: The Financial Mirror

WILDLIFE: Cyprus bird trapping hits record low says NGO

Mass killing of migratory birds on the Mediterranean island has reached a record low mainly due to a clampdown on illegal trappings in areas controlled by the British military, conservationist group Birdlife Cyprus said Monday.

The group said its 2018 autumn survey has shown a 90 per cent decrease in trapping levels with mist nets compared to 2002 when data collection began.

This positive all-time low is mainly due to the progress achieved within the Dhekelia British Sovereign Base Area over the last two years, one of the main trapping hotspots of the island, said Birdlife Cyprus in a statement.

Britain retained sovereignty over two military base areas when Cyprus gained independence in 1960 and has a police force in Dhekelia that tackles poachers.

Birdlife said its analysis shows a positive and continuing decrease in bird trapping levels in Cyprus but pointed to a worrisome discrepancy of trapping decreasing in UK military base areas against an increase in the Republic.

While the big picture is one of welcome success and relief for Europe’s migrant birds, the increase in killing with mist nets in the Republic recorded in autumn 2018 warns us to keep our feet on the ground, said Birdlife.

An estimated 335,000 birds were still trapped across Cyprus last autumn.

Birdlife Cyprus believes the positive results in the UK bases is down to a multipronged approach to addressing the problem within its jurisdiction.

By increasing police patrols, introducing deterrent sentencing for trappers, enabling covert surveillance work and continuing operations targeting trapping habitat, SBA police played a key role in the dramatic reduction of trapping levels, said Birdlife.

It acknowledges the efforts by Cypriots authorities in the Republic, including the issuing of deterrent on-the-spot fines, but said more needed to be done.

This year’s increase in trapping levels in the Republic not only strikes a cautionary note as regards to the dynamic nature of the trapping culture in Cyprus but also reminds us that the trapping problem is not yet solved, said Birdlife.

Bird trapping with mist nets and limesticks is a damaging and non-selective practice that affects over 150 species of birds, mostly migratory.

The main killing season is autumn when trappers are after protected Blackcaps to be sold as illegal but highly lucrative ambelopoulia ‘delicacies’.

Lack of enforcement against the illegal sale of trapped birds in restaurants and against big, organised trappers remain persistent problems, centred in the Republic, said director of Birdlife Cyprus Martin Hellicar.

Source: The Financial Mirror